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

Examples of robot in a Sentence

The cars are assembled by robots.

Recent Examples on the Web

Then their name was written on a screen by another robot. Emily Farra, Vogue, "A Rare Interview With Thierry Dreyfus, the Lighting and Runway Designer Behind Some of Fall’s Biggest Shows," 15 Mar. 2019 The robot is still very much in the early stages of development, officials said, an experiment in itself to test how the technology works in space, and how the astronauts would react to it. Christian Davenport, chicagotribune.com, "SpaceX sends AI robot named CIMON to the International Space Station," 29 June 2018 One of my favorite books of 2017 was io9 founder Annalee Newitz’s debut novel, Autonomous, about pharmaceutical pirates named Jack and the robot and government agent pair who pursue her. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 In addition, the neighborhood will contain an Urban Consolidation Center, which will distribute freight and collect waste centrally via robots and a tunnel system, eliminating noise, pollution, and congestion. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Sidewalk Labs’s updated smart city plan aims for ‘people-first public realm’," 30 Nov. 2018 After a standoff of about two hours, the suspect was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m. Sunday local time, after police sent in a robot and a police dog to check the apartment, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Fox News, "Gunman dead after 2 cops shot in San Diego standoff; 1 officer reported clinging to life," 2 Oct. 2018 The three agents retreated and took cover before sending in a robot and using it to order the suspect outside, according to police. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Houston man charged with assault after being shot during Homeland Security drug raid," 13 July 2018 The Army’s Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport program, or SMET, is meant to produce a robot that can carry 1,000 pounds of supplies for a nine-man infantry squad. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Grizzly Is a Rugged Tank Robot That Could Carry a Soldier’s Stuff," 29 Mar. 2019 After her breakthrough role as an emancipated robot in 2015’s Ex Machina, the actress won an Oscar the following year for her performance in The Danish Girl. Harper's BAZAAR, "Alicia Vikander Leaps to New Heights—in Life and Fashion," 13 Mar. 2019

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

14 May 2019

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 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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about robot

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