al·​ter·​na·​tor | \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌnā-tər How to pronounce alternator (audio) also ˈal- \

Definition of alternator

: an electric generator for producing alternating current

Examples of alternator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This jump starter is set apart by its unique ability to test and report on the health of your vehicle’s alternator, which under normal conditions is responsible for keeping your battery charged up. Popular Science, "Portable car jump starters that’ll get you out of a tight spot," 27 May 2020 Other grinding noises could also be anything from a pebble lodged between the brake pad and the rotor to a failing alternator to bearings going dead. Mac Demere, Popular Mechanics, "11 Things Your Car Is Trying to Tell You," 2 Aug. 2019 Over the decades, Generac developed a market for major industrial customers needing large alternators, keeping the factory busy. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Generac moves toward clean-energy option for homes," 24 Dec. 2019 Former Uber head Travis Kalanick boasted that his driver’s license had expired and that his 1999 BMW M3 convertible—his only car—had a broken alternator. Wired, "The Death of Cars Was Greatly Exaggerated," 16 Oct. 2019 Today's belts turn myriad devices including power steering, water pump, air conditioning compressor, and alternator. Mac Demere, Popular Mechanics, "11 Things Your Car Is Trying to Tell You," 2 Aug. 2019 Officer Santillanes met with the reportee who stated on July 6, 2019 at approximately 1325 hours, a skinny black female used a fraudulent check to purchase an alternator from the business. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 5 Aug. 2019 The Max Tow package, $995, added 245/75 all-terrain tires, 4.10 axle ratio, Class IV receiver hitch and trailer-hitch zoom, daytime running lights, heavy-duty engine cooling and 240-amp alternator. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jeep Gladiator: the mudder of midsize pickups," 14 July 2019 An American flag covers a window in the back of the dining space that looks into the mechanic shop next door, where Chhoker’s husband, Raj Chhoker, works daily aligning tires and replacing alternators. Jaweed Kaleem,, "How a rural Oklahoma truck stop became a destination for Sikh Punjabis crossing America," 27 June 2019

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

History and Etymology for alternator

alternate entry 2 + -or entry 1

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Time Traveler for alternator

Time Traveler

The first known use of alternator was in 1883

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Statistics for alternator

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alternator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for alternator


How to pronounce alternator (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on alternator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alternator

Spanish Central: Translation of alternator

Nglish: Translation of alternator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alternator for Arabic Speakers

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