robot

noun
ro·​bot | \ˈrō-ˌbät, -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 3

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

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Other Words from robot

robotism \ ˈrō-​ˌbä-​ˌti-​zəm , -​bə-​ \ noun

Examples of robot in a Sentence

The cars are assembled by robots.

Recent Examples on the Web

Like many complex robots, the FlyCroTug’s abilities are rooted in the natural world. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Inspired by Wasps, This Micro-Drone Lifts 40 Times its Weight," 25 Oct. 2018 Since China joined the WTO in 2001, the United States has shed 3.1 million factory jobs, though many economists attribute much of that loss not just to trade but to robots and other technologies that replace human workers. Paul Wiseman And Christopher Rugaber, USA TODAY, "Trump's tariffs: A closer look at what they are and how they will work," 9 July 2018 Since China joined the WTO in 2001, the United States has shed 3.1 million factory jobs, though many economists attribute much of that loss not just to trade but to robots and other technologies that replace human workers. Paul Wiseman And Christopher Rugaber, chicagotribune.com, "Trump's tariffs: What they are and how they will work," 9 July 2018 Since China joined the WTO in 2001, the United States has shed 3.1 million factory jobs, though many economists attribute much of that loss not just to trade but to robots and other technologies that replace human workers. Washington Post, "Trump’s tariffs: What they are and how they will work," 9 July 2018 Since China joined the WTO in 2001, the United States has shed 3.1 million factory jobs, though many economists attribute much of that loss not just to trade but to robots and other technologies that replace human workers. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s tariffs: What they are and how they will work," 9 July 2018 Raibert had become like Antonio Stradivari, but for ambulatory robots instead of violins. Scott Kirsner, BostonGlobe.com, "After viral YouTube fame, Boston Dynamics is ready to sell its robots," 6 July 2018 According to the letter, SoftBank is working with Huawei to use 5G technology to power service robots in Asia. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Sprint’s ties to Chinese firm Huawei could complicate T-Mobile merger," 3 July 2018 Blomkamp’s tech-heavy films, featuring all manner of exo-suits, robots, political conflicts, and bloody splatter effects owe much of their identity to the 1987 film. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Robocop' and Neill Blomkamp Need Each Other," 11 July 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near robot

robocall

robomb

roborate

robot

robot bomb

robotic

robotics

Statistics for robot

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for robot

The first known use of robot was in 1922

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More Definitions for robot

robot

noun

English Language Learners Definition of robot

: a real or imaginary machine that is controlled by a computer and is often made to look like a human or animal

: a machine that can do the work of a person and that works automatically or is controlled by a computer

robot

noun
ro·​bot | \ˈrō-ˌbät \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on robot

Spanish Central: Translation of robot

Nglish: Translation of robot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about robot

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