Definition of automaton
automataplay \-mə-tə, -mə-ˌtä\
Recent Examples of automaton from the Web
At the time, the idea of an automaton being used to commit crime was a novelty.
That is not to say that periodization wants to produce teams of automatons.
Gorsuch portrayed himself as a kind of judicial automaton, obligated to pay mindless obeisance to the Court’s prior rulings.
The most advanced engineering in the world was devoted to these automata in the 18th century.
And — reading on — the flutes made of bone, the zoos, the purple dye made from snails, the roulette, the automatons of digesting and defecating ducks, and Minecraft.
With the flexibility to create any game imaginable, Highwire came up with Golem, a game about making, then inhabiting the bodies of, automatons great and small.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'automaton'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The idea of the automaton has fascinated people for many centuries. A traveler to the emperor's court in Byzantium in A.D. 949 reported that mechanical birds sat in a golden tree singing the songs of their species; that mechanical lions flanked the throne, roaring and switching their great tails; and that, as he stood watching, the emperor's throne suddenly shot upward toward the high ceiling, and when it slowly descended the emperor was wearing new robes. Early automata (notice the common plural form) often relied on water, steam, or falling weights to power them. Today automata, often called robots, are used in manufacturing plants to build not only vehicles but also much smaller electronic equipment.
AUTOMATON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of automaton for English Language Learners
: a machine that can move by itself
: a person who acts in a mechanical or machinelike way
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