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 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 nounFor 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 How to pronounce robotism (audio) , -​bə-​ \ noun

Examples of robot in a Sentence

The cars are assembled by robots.
Recent Examples on the Web Officers deployed a robot inside the house, Jones said, and saw Ackerman injured but alive. oregonlive, "Woman found dead in SE Portland home was killed in murder-suicide, police say," 1 July 2020 Amazon has used autonomous technology to get orders to shoppers: self-driving robots shuffle products around its warehouses and a cooler-sized robot with six wheels has delivered orders in a Seattle suburb. Washington Post, "Amazon looks to self-driving future by acquiring Zoox," 26 June 2020 In a lab setting, researchers observed the 14-month-old infants' behavior toward three situations: playing in an unfamiliar playroom, exposure to an adult stranger and a novel toy robot. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Anxious or reserved? You might've been that way as a baby," 25 June 2020 Get the iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum from Best Buy for $699.99 6. Liv Birdsall, USA TODAY, "20 things from Best Buy that make aging in place easier," 25 June 2020 This robot vacuum from Eufy uses laser technology to guide itself around your space and delivers a hardy 2200 pascals of suction pressure for getting rid of wet and dry messes. Popular Science, "These robot vacuums will also mop your floor," 25 June 2020 The same can be said for a Bay Area robot called Chef B, which makes more than three dozen 12-ounce smoothies in an hour without human assistance. Justin Phillips,, "Salad robots, smoothie robots and vertical farms: Bay Area food automation goes from niche to necessity during pandemic," 16 June 2020 Eufy RoboVac 30 robot vacuum for $179.99 at Amazon (normally $240). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A bunch of Nintendo Switch games are back on sale today," 11 June 2020 Two people can actually share control of the DaVinci robot. Matt Beane, Wired, "To Adapt to Tech, We're Heading Into the Shadows," 8 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for robot

Time Traveler

The first known use of robot was in 1922

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Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Robot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for robot


How to pronounce robot (audio)

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


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on robot

Spanish Central: Translation of robot

Nglish: Translation of robot for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about robot

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