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 Collins is another major supplier on the plane, providing onboard computers, electrical power supplies and actuators that control wing flaps. Charlotte Ryan,, "Airbus Squeezes Suppliers to End Losses on Challenger to Max," 29 Apr. 2020 During that time, actuators could align the engine so that the thrust pointed through the LM’s center of gravity. Frank O’brien, Ars Technica, "A deep dive into the Apollo Guidance Computer, and the hack that saved Apollo 14," 30 Jan. 2020 The door lock actuator is integrated with the door latch. Brad Bergholdt,, "Under the Hood: Trouble with lock system," 10 Dec. 2019 Compared to a previous Norinco exoskeleton, which came out in 2015, this second generation has a better battery, more robust hydraulic and pneumatic actuators, and a streamlined harness. Popular Science, "China’s working on the next generation of military exoskeleton. Here’s what it can do.," 7 Feb. 2018 Each fiber tip can be repositioned in a matter of seconds by a tiny robotic actuator. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Robot detector to map cosmos for clues to dark energy," 11 Sep. 2019 Integrating Matrix with the Air Crane involves adding a digital fly-by-wire system, control actuators, and Sikorsky’s perception software and sensor suite. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "A Vietnam Helo's New Robot Brain Will Help Fight a Different Kind of Enemy," 9 Mar. 2020 And unlike a traditional robotic actuator, which uses a metal motor to move in static ways, this system comes with literal and metaphorical flexibility. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Finally, a Robot That Moves Kind of Like a Tongue," 1 Aug. 2019 An actuator pivots the extra linkages between the connecting rods and the crankshaft to twerk the pistons a little higher or a little lower, resulting in a compression ratio that varies from 14.0:1 to 8.0:1. Jared Gall, Car and Driver, "Our 2019 Infiniti QX50 Underwhelms in its Complexity," 10 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for actuator

Time Traveler

The first known use of actuator was in 1652

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Statistics for actuator

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Actuator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on actuator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for actuator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with actuator

Britannica English: Translation of actuator for Arabic Speakers

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