[roh-buh t, -bot]


a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command.
a person who acts and responds in a mechanical, routine manner, usually subject to another's will; automaton.
any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with humanlike skill.


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for robotic

Contemporary Examples of robotic

Historical Examples of robotic

  • Steel and electrons and wires and robotic brains were inflexible.

  • In the first place, it was strictly illegal to deal in the components of robotic brains.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • All that machinery and robotic equipment and so on that was going to Tanith—was that aboard when he took the ship?

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • There was a lot of cybernetic and robotic equipment, and astrogational equipment, that had to be made from scratch.

    The Cosmic Computer

    Henry Beam Piper

  • It sounded a little infantile, but he was pretty sure none of those present had any sound knowledge of robotic intelligence.

    The Velvet Glove

    Harry Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for robotic



any automated machine programmed to perform specific mechanical functions in the manner of a man
(modifier) not controlled by man; automatica robot pilot
a person who works or behaves like a machine; automaton
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 robotic

1941 (Asimov), from robot + -ic.



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

robotic in Medicine




Relating to, characteristic of, or employing robots.




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.
A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.
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.

robotic in Science



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.