automaton

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English[edit]

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The Digesting Duck of Jacques de Vaucanson, hailed in 1739 as the first automaton capable of digestion.
A diagram of a formal automaton.

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek αὐτόματον (automaton), neuter of αὐτόματος (automatos, self moving, self willed).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: ô-tŏm'ə-tən, ô-tŏm'ə-tŏn, IPA(key): /ɔːˈtɒmətən/, /ɔːˈtɒməˌtɒn/

Noun[edit]

automaton (plural automatons or automata)

  1. A machine or robot designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions.
  2. A person who acts like a machine or robot, often defined as having a monotonous lifestyle and lacking in emotion.
    Due to her strict adherence to her daily schedule, Jessica was becoming more and more convinced that she was an automaton.
    A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on 'til the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. - Thomas Jefferson
  3. A formal system, such as finite automaton.
  4. A toy in the form of a mechanical figure.

Derived terms[edit]

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Translations[edit]


Latin[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek αὐτόματον (autómaton), neuter of αὐτόματος (autómatos, self-moving, self-willed).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [au.'tɔ.ma.ton̥]

Noun[edit]

automaton

  1. automaton.
  2. contraption
  3. device

Declension[edit]

Second declension neuter, Greek type.

Number Singular Plural
nominative automaton automata
genitive automatī automatōrum
dative automatō automatīs
accusative automaton automata
ablative automatō automatīs
vocative automaton automata