gen·​er·​a·​tor | \ ˈje-nə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce generator (audio) \

Definition of generator

1 : one that generates: such as
a : an apparatus in which vapor or gas is formed
b : a machine by which mechanical energy is changed into electrical energy
2 : a mathematical entity that when subjected to one or more operations yields another mathematical entity or its elements specifically : generatrix

Did you know?

Generators work by rotating a coil of wire in a magnetic field, causing a current to flow in the wire. A generator may be a huge spinning turbine powered by water, wind, steam, gas, or nuclear reactions, which sends electricity out through power lines to thousands of customers. But normally when we use the word, we're thinking of a small machine powered by gasoline or diesel, such as you might keep in your basement for those times when a storm knocks out your power, to create electricity right in front of your eyes. A special kind of generator called an alternator powers a car's electrical system (including its lights, power steering, etc.) while the car is running.

Examples of generator in a Sentence

This new product will be a major revenue generator. a backup generator for the store
Recent Examples on the Web Authorities have ordered most establishments to close with the exception of casinos, which are Macao’s main revenue generator and among the city’s largest employers. Fox News, 6 July 2022 Glen Canyon Dam is the biggest hydropower generator in the Upper Basin states, producing enough electricity to light hundreds of thousands of homes. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 May 2022 The Lees brought power to the island via underwater cables, and there is a backup generator capable of generating off-grid power for 8 to 12 weeks. E.b. Solomont, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2022 The company is the largest private generator of wind energy in the U.S. today and among the largest on the planet, with dozens of windfarms dotting the landscapes of Texas, the Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest. Alex Salkever, Fortune, 18 Mar. 2022 Olmsted Township has a large community room in its Fitch Road administration building, which also has a generator. cleveland, 27 Sep. 2021 The market does not have a generator, and DeAngelo hoped power would remain on, as shoppers blitzed the store for necessities. Nora Mishanec,, 25 Oct. 2020 However, Paramount's recent surge shows the value of theatrical as a revenue generator right as Wall Street has finally realized that streaming isn’t a miracle cure. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 3 June 2022 The nuGen haul truck started life as a Komatsu 930E with a diesel-electric powertrain, in which a 16-cylinder engine acted as a generator to power the truck's electric traction motors. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'generator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of generator

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for generator

Time Traveler

The first known use of generator was in 1646

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Dictionary Entries Near generator

generative semantics



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Statistics for generator

Last Updated

14 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Generator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for generator


gen·​er·​a·​tor | \ ˈje-nə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce generator (audio) \

Kids Definition of generator

: a machine that produces electricity

More from Merriam-Webster on generator

Nglish: Translation of generator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of generator for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about generator


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