ac·​tu·​a·​tor | \ ˈak-chə-ˌwā-tər How to pronounce actuator (audio) , -shə-\

Definition of actuator

: one that actuates specifically : a mechanical device for moving or controlling something

Examples of actuator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Soft-bodied robots, as their name implies, don't have the sort of hard skeletons that typical robotic actuators can push against. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make a robotic fish with a battery for blood," 19 June 2019 Looking like Iron Man’s little brother, Max showed off his new range of motion Friday, tilting his wrists up and down and getting an immediate response from the actuators at his elbows. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD students restore motion to five-year-old boy’s arms," 15 June 2019 The actuator was showing temperatures falling during the day and rising at night, each one outside of normal parameters. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "An Unexpected Component Helped Curiosity Observe a Martian Dust Storm," 27 Sep. 2018 Similar to a car's window wipers, these tiny actuators shake loose any bio-organic material that has built up on the devices. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Latest Glaucoma Treatment Could Be Magnets In Your Eyes," 13 Nov. 2018 Anyone can put in an actuator with a button, pretty simple, inexpensive. Eric Johnson, Recode, "What’s next for virtual assistants like Alexa? Maybe buying stuff for you automatically.," 24 Dec. 2018 At the other end is an actuator arm that's connected to a harmonic drive. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Variable-compression engine meets crossover: Infiniti QX50 review," 8 Nov. 2018 Sensors and actuators read the amount of pressure a driver inputs, and this force is transferred to all the brakes from the master cylinder using hydraulic fluid. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "Why Brake-By-Wire Is Coming To Your Car," 12 July 2018 The all-wheel drive system links up to the chassis domain controller, and the driveline's integrated actuator lets the car adjust to new road conditions in as little as 150m. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "1,160 miles in 11 days: A grand tour with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio," 15 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actuator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of actuator

1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for actuator

actuate + -or entry 1

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Learn More about actuator

Dictionary Entries near actuator

actuaries' table




act up



Statistics for actuator

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for actuator

The first known use of actuator was in 1652

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More from Merriam-Webster on actuator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with actuator

Britannica English: Translation of actuator for Arabic Speakers

Comments on actuator

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something desired as essential

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