al·​ter·​na·​tor | \ˈȯl-tər-ˌnā-tər also ˈal- \

Definition of alternator 

: an electric generator for producing alternating current

Examples of alternator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If the engine is running, the alternator is producing so much extra electricity that the seat heaters can run indefinitely. Ray Magliozzi,, "Car Talk: It's Safe To Use Seat Heaters If Stranded In Snow," 11 July 2018 Both engines are mild hybrids, using the eTorque 48-volt starter-alternator Fiat Chrysler introduced on the 2019 Jeep Wrangler. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Ram 1500 adds features, loses weight, links Hemi V8 to mild-hybrid system," 15 Jan. 2018 Obviously there’s no need for another alternator, and electric motors are used to drive the water pump and the air-conditioning compressor. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, "Nine Things You Must Know about the New Mercedes Inline-Six," 20 Mar. 2018 The accessory belts that run your air conditioning compressor, power steering system, alternator, air pump, and water pump will also need replacing. Matt Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "How To Resurrect a Sleeping Car," 7 Feb. 2018 That means the alternator bearings are spinning and the diode bridge is working. Ray Magliozzi,, "Car Talk: Neighbor's Dangerous Habit Is Driving With His Lights Off," 15 June 2018 Have them check the alignment, tire wear and rotation (if the existing tires were usable), wheel bearings, battery, alternator, and remaining brake life. Matt Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "How To Resurrect a Sleeping Car," 7 Feb. 2018 To date, the fuel efficiency gains have been negligible, primarily because HHO systems draw so much power from the alternator for electrolysis. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Could the Future of Ultra Low Emissions Be...Diesel?," 30 Mar. 2018 All three cars use combine Mercedes’s new 3.0L straight-six engine with a 48-volt starter-alternator. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Mercedes AMG performance hybrids aim for electrifying performance," 15 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alternator.' 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 alternator

1883, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for alternator

The first known use of alternator was in 1883

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English Language Learners Definition of alternator

: a device that produces electricity (as in the engine of a vehicle) : a generator that produces alternating current

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by force of circumstances

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