- Electricity. a rotating member of a machine.Compare stator(def 1).
- Aeronautics. a system of rotating airfoils, as the horizontal ones of a helicopter or of the compressor of a jet engine.
- any of a number of tall, cylindrical devices mounted on a special ship (rotor ship) and rotated in such a way that the Magnus effect of wind impinging on the cylinders is used to drive and maneuver the vessel.
- (in a self-winding watch) a weight eccentrically mounted on an arbor for keeping the mainspring wound.
Origin of rotor
First recorded in 1873; short for rotator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rotor
So serious is this heat that it can distort a major APUS engine component, the rotor shaft, and cause significant damage.Planes in Flames: Why Does It Keep Happening?
July 15, 2013
These dummy pistons are shown at the near end of the rotor in Fig. 35.
In this A is the cylinder or casing, B the spindle or rotor, and C the blades.
The rotor of a variometer or variocoupler is a rotating coil.The Radio Amateur's Hand Book
A. Frederick Collins
There are rings of blades round the rotor, tightly fixed to its surface.The Romance of War Inventions
Thomas W. Corbin
Then you ask Tom to send a plane back to drop off my cap and rotor.The Scarlet Lake Mystery
Harold Leland Goodwin
- the rotating member of a machine or device, esp the armature of a motor or generator or the rotating assembly of a turbineCompare stator
- a device having blades radiating from a central hub that is rotated to produce thrust to lift and propel a helicopter
- the revolving arm of the distributor of an internal-combustion engine
- a violent rolling wave of air occurring in the lee of a mountain or hill, in which the air rotates about a horizontal axis
C20: shortened form of rotator
Word Origin and History for rotor
1873, irregular shortening of rotator (see rotate (v.)), originally in mathematics. Mechanical sense is attested from 1903; specifically of helicopters from 1930.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper