robot

noun
ro·​bot | \ ˈrō-ˌbät How to pronounce robot (audio) , -bət \
plural robots

Definition of robot

1 : a machine that resembles a living creature in being capable of moving independently (as by walking or rolling on wheels) and performing complex actions (such as grasping and moving objects) When the next space launch heads for Mars, on board will be dozens of tiny mobile robots that will fan out across the Martian landscape, exploring every nook and cranny.— Michael Bowker often : such a machine built to resemble a human being or animal in appearance and behavior While science fiction robots have been capable of independent thought, emotions, even a little cooking and sewing, scientists are finding that endowing a mechanical being with even the most basic human functions is a monumental challenge. — Greg Freiherr As a sign of the times, paleontologists themselves have taken to … designing dinosaur robots and displays … — Malcolm W. Browne often used before another noun a robot dog a robot servant — compare android, bot entry 1
2a : a device that automatically performs complicated, often repetitive tasks (as in an industrial assembly line) the use of robots in car manufacturing … factories run by robots producing many replicas of one product.— Morris Philipson often used before another noun For fluid applications, especially in the automotive industry, the robot arm must have extremely flexible movement.— Harry H. Poole
b : a mechanism guided by automatic controls a robot airplane
3 : a person who resembles a machine in seeming to function automatically or in lacking normal feelings or emotions … seems to believe that professors are robots, students are superficial, grade-hungry receptacles …— Micaela Rubalcava

Other Words from robot

robotism \ ˈrō-​ˌbä-​ˌti-​zəm How to pronounce robot (audio) , -​bə-​ \ noun

Did you know?

In 1920, Czech writer Karel Čapek published a play titled R.U.R. Those initials stood for "Rossum's Universal Robots," which was the name of a fictional company that manufactured human-like machines designed to perform hard, dull, dangerous work for people. The machines in the play eventually grew to resent their jobs and rebelled—with disastrous results for humans. During the writing of his play, Čapek consulted with his brother, the painter and writer Josef Čapek, who suggested the name robot for these machines, from the Czech word robota, which means "forced labor." Robot made its way into our language in 1922 when R.U.R. was translated into English.

Examples of robot in a Sentence

The cars are assembled by robots.
Recent Examples on the Web The value proposition that Boston Dynamics brought to the partnership was Spot the agile mobile robot, a walking, sensing, and actuation platform. Paul Smith-goodson, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 The cultural impact of Rosie the robot cannot be overstated when talking about tech from The Jetsons. Francisco Lahoz, PCMAG, 1 Aug. 2022 Stanford University researchers designed the robot to go underwater to explore sunken planes, ships, submarines and perhaps even lost cities. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 30 July 2022 Midtown offices offers an excellent view — especially of the giant purple robot and friendly-looking hot dog that are waving from behind skyscrapers. Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, 28 July 2022 Some examples are chatbots via AI, and even the first humanoid robot to gain citizenship, Sophia, who can carry on a conversation. Susan Johnston, Rolling Stone, 26 July 2022 Several tournament officials and adults then rushed over to help the child break free from the robot. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 25 July 2022 The robot and Tholen interact daily for 60 to 90 minutes. Matt Fuchs, Fortune, 12 July 2022 The little robot vacuum runs for up to 120 minutes on a single charge. Carly Kulzer, PEOPLE.com, 12 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of robot

1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for robot

Czech, from robota compulsory labor; akin to Old High German arabeit trouble, Latin orbus orphaned — more at orphan

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Robot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/robot. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for robot

robot

noun
ro·​bot | \ ˈrō-ˌbät How to pronounce robot (audio) \

Kids Definition of robot

1 : a machine that looks and acts like a human being
2 : a machine that can do the work of a person automatically or under the control of a computer

More from Merriam-Webster on robot

Nglish: Translation of robot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about robot

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