robot

[roh-buh t, -bot]
See more synonyms for robot on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command.
  2. a person who acts and responds in a mechanical, routine manner, usually subject to another's will; automaton.
  3. any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with humanlike skill.
adjective
  1. operating automatically: a robot train operating between airline terminals.

Origin of robot

< Czech, coined by Karel Čapek in the play R.U.R. (1920) from the base robot-, as in robota compulsory labor, robotník peasant owing such labor
Related formsro·bot·ism, nounro·bot·ic, ro·bot·is·tic [roh-buh-tis-tik, -bo-] /ˌroʊ bəˈtɪs tɪk, -bɒ-/, adjectivero·bot·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for robot

cyborg, automation

Examples from the Web for robot

Contemporary Examples of robot

Historical Examples of robot

  • All this kept the robot busy, and we got so used to him we were hardly aware he was around.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • Then I noticed the tiny glow of light in the robot's eye lenses.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • This was as close as a robot could look to a cop in uniform, without being a joke.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • None of us knew the littlest bit about what a robot can or cannot do.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • But a robot can't take the place of a cop, it's a complex human job.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison


British Dictionary definitions for robot

robot

noun
  1. any automated machine programmed to perform specific mechanical functions in the manner of a man
  2. (modifier) not controlled by man; automatica robot pilot
  3. a person who works or behaves like a machine; automaton
  4. Southern African a set of traffic lights
Derived Formsrobotic, adjectiverobotism or robotry, nounrobot-like, adjective

Word Origin for robot

C20: (used in R.U.R., a play by Karel Čapek) from Czech robota work; related to Old Slavonic rabota servitude, German Arbeit work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for robot
n.

1923, from English translation of 1920 play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots"), by Karel Capek (1890-1938), from Czech robotnik "slave," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery," from robotiti "to work, drudge," from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude," from rabu "slave," from Old Slavic *orbu-, from PIE *orbh- "pass from one status to another" (see orphan). The Slavic word thus is a cousin to German Arbeit "work" (Old High German arabeit). According to Rawson the word was popularized by Karel Capek's play, "but was coined by his brother Josef (the two often collaborated), who used it initially in a short story."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

robot in Medicine

robot

[rōbŏt′]
n.
  1. A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.
  2. A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.
  3. A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

robot in Science

robot

[rōbŏt′]
  1. A machine designed to replace human beings in performing a variety of tasks, either on command or by being programmed in advance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.