sensor

noun
sen·​sor | \ ˈsen-ˌsȯr How to pronounce sensor (audio) , ˈsen(t)-sər \

Definition of sensor

1 : a device that responds to a physical stimulus (such as heat, light, sound, pressure, magnetism, or a particular motion) and transmits a resulting impulse (as for measurement or operating a control)

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Synonyms for sensor

Synonyms

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Did You Know?

Sensors are used today almost everywhere. Radar guns bounce microwaves off moving cars. A burglar alarm may use a photosensor to detect when a beam of light has been broken, or may use ultrasonic sound waves that bounce off moving objects. Still other sensors may detect pressure (barometers) or chemicals (Breathalyzers and smoke detectors). Stud finders, used by carpenters to locate wooden studs under a wall, may employ magnets or radar. Wired gloves, which relay information about the position of the fingers, are used in virtual-reality environments. A cheap car alarm may be nothing but a shock sensor, in which a strong vibration will cause two metal surfaces to come together.

Examples of sensor in a Sentence

Image sensors are used in digital cameras. Infrared sensors can track an object's movement.
Recent Examples on the Web The new phone’s Lepton thermal sensor features four times the number of thermal pixels compared to its predecessors. Chris Smith, BGR, "If you need a rugged phone, Caterpillar’s latest model might do," 1 Apr. 2021 Crash investigators said faulty information from a single sensor caused the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, to repeatedly force the noses of the planes down, leading to the crashes. Washington Post, "On anniversary of Boeing Max crash, a victim’s family meets Buttigieg and call for ousting FAA leadership," 10 Mar. 2021 Doug Pasternak, the committee’s lead investigator into the Max, asked Bahrami about Boeing’s decision -- approved by FAA -- to use a single sensor to trigger a controversial flight-control system that repeatedly dove both planes that crashed. Alan Levin, Bloomberg.com, "‘We’re Going to Ground the Plane’: How Boeing’s Max Was Parked," 31 Oct. 2020 Current Pixel models either have a fingerprint sensor or come with 3D face unlock, but not both. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Android 12 might have spoiled a major Pixel 6 design upgrade," 18 Mar. 2021 The Reds will monitor pitchers with a Motus Sleeve, which has a sensor below a pitcher’s elbow ligaments. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "'Swing-and-miss doesn't lie': Cincinnati Reds pitchers focused on avoiding contact," 27 Feb. 2021 Both models have a 12-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 64-megapixel zoom camera that offers up to 30X of hybrid optical/digital magnification. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, "How to Preorder the Samsung Galaxy S21 (and Which Model to Pick)," 15 Jan. 2021 In both crashes, the system pushed the nose down repeatedly based on faulty sensor readings, and pilots were unable to regain control. David Koenig, ajc, "Boeing Max returns to US skies with first passenger flight," 29 Dec. 2020 In both crashes, the system pushed the nose down repeatedly based on faulty sensor readings, and pilots were unable to regain control. David Koenig, The Christian Science Monitor, "Boeing gets a boost as its 737 Max returns to US skies," 29 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensor.' 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 sensor

circa 1928, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sensor

Latin sentire to perceive + English -or entry 1 — more at sense

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Time Traveler for sensor

Time Traveler

The first known use of sensor was circa 1928

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Statistics for sensor

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sensor. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sensor

sensor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sensor

: a device that detects or senses heat, light, sound, motion, etc., and then reacts to it in a particular way

sensor

noun
sen·​sor | \ ˈsen-ˌsȯ(ə)r How to pronounce sensor (audio) , ˈsen(t)-sər How to pronounce sensor (audio) \

Medical Definition of sensor

: a device that responds to a physical stimulus (as heat, light, sound, pressure, magnetism, or a particular motion) and transmits a resulting impulse (as for measurement or operating a control) also : sense organ

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