noun, plural in form but singular in construction
hap·​tics | \ ˈhap-tiks How to pronounce haptics (audio) \

Definition of haptics

1 : the use of electronically or mechanically generated movement that a user experiences through the sense of touch as part of an interface (as on a gaming console or smartphone) Some video games let players experience simple examples of haptics; … players can feel shudders and jolts through joysticks and steering wheels that are linked to virtual activities like driving vehicles with high-torque motors.— Anne Eisenberg Instead the haptics engine motor simulates the feeling of pressing a button.— Ben Sin
2 medical : a science concerned with the sense of touch The study of touching behavior is called haptics.— Bruce M. Rowe and Diane P. Levine

First Known Use of haptics

1734, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for haptics

borrowed, with conformation to -ics, from New Latin hapticē "science of touch," noun derivative from feminine of Greek haptikós "able to come into contact with," from haptós "tangible" (verbal adjective of háptein "to fasten," háptesthai "to fasten onto, come into contact with, touch," of uncertain origin) + -ikos -ic entry 1

Note: New Latin hapticē was coined by the English mathematician Isaac Barrow (1630-77) in Lectiones mathematicae XXIII (London, 1685), p. 28. Greek háptein has been traced to Indo-European *h2ep- "join, fit" (see apt entry 1), with the initial h- accounted for by analogy with other verbs, and the aspiration of derivatives such as haphḗ "touch, grip, kindling" taken as secondary.

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The first known use of haptics was in 1734

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Cite this Entry

“Haptics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haptics. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for haptics


noun plural but singular in construction
hap·​tics | \ -tiks How to pronounce haptics (audio) \

Medical Definition of haptics

: a science concerned with the sense of touch

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