ac·​tu·​a·​tor | \ˈak-chə-ˌwā-tər, -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

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 Once the diver selects a setting, an actuator presses on optical fluid. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "The Underwater Microscope That Can Survive on the Ocean Floor," 12 Sep. 2016 The team claimed that their custom actuators (basically a robot’s muscles) were ten times stronger than competing designs. James Vincent, The Verge, "Google shuts down bipedal robot team Schaft," 15 Nov. 2018 Without actuators, robots would crumple like rag dolls. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Robots," 17 May 2018 Researchers at Carnegie Mellon, for example, have developed a snake robot made of 16 decidedly unbiological actuators, or motors, that move in concert to mimic the way a real serpent would. Matt Simon, WIRED, "How Roboticists Are Copying Nature to Make Fantastical Machines," 28 June 2018 The devices contain numerous actuators beneath a flexible rubber cover, and they can be individually controlled and varied in pressure to simulate light touches up through more pronounced contact. Eric Adams, WIRED, "VR Pilot Training Now Comes With a Sense of Touch," 26 June 2018 Creator’s burger-making robot is a long stretch of sleek machinery, with 350 sensors, 50 actuators, and 20 computers to ensure every sauce is dispensed down to the milliliter and every spice down to the gram. Renae Reints, Fortune, "The World’s First Entirely Robot-Crafted Burger Is Here. This Is Exactly How It’s Made," 22 June 2018 The 14-foot machine contains 350 sensors, 20 computers and 50 actuator mechanisms to accomplish the burger making process. Justin Phillips,, "Six things to know about Creator, San Francisco’s new burger robot restaurant," 27 June 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

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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