a series-wound motor, of one-half horsepower or less, using alternating or direct current.
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Origin of universal motor
First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for universal motor
an electric motor capable of working on either direct current or single-phase alternating current at approximately the same speed and output
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