Definition of automaton in English:
noun (plural automata /-tə/ or automatons)
1A moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being.
- The earliest ‘robots’ were the fixed-base mechanical automatons of the 18th century.
- The story went that Descartes was so struck with grief that he created an automaton, a mechanical doll, built exactly identical to his dead daughter.
- With 842 lots, the sale will be in two parts: fine toys, biscuit tins and toy soldiers next Tuesday; and mechanical music, automata, dolls and doll's houses on October 30.
1.1A machine that performs a function according to a predetermined set of coded instructions, especially one capable of a range of programmed responses to different circumstances.
- In computer science, an automaton is an abstract machine that can serve as a model of computation.
- We know how to build toy thinking machines, automatons, but that's not the same thing.
- Already in the seventeenth century the possibility was widely discussed that animals could be understood as machines or automata.
1.2Used in similes and comparisons to refer to a person who seems to act in a mechanical or unemotional way: she went about her preparations like an automaton
More example sentences
- They are not the unemotional automatons of science fiction myth.
- They are thinking human beings not automatons.
- I notice that the checkout girls in the supermarket look for eye contact with every customer, as they too need to be seen and accepted as human beings, not automatons.