Definition of cybernetics in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌsībərˈnediks/

plural noun

[treated as singular]
The science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things.
Example sentences
  • An important part in science comes to be taken by such fields of it as the study of systems, mathematics, cybernetics and the study of operations.
  • Einstein's theory of relativity was ostracized by many scientists in the cause of self-preservation, while quantum mechanics and cybernetics were virtually banned.
  • There is a specialized science, cybernetics, studying these problems of the general systems theory.



Pronunciation: /ˌsībərˈnedik/
Example sentences
  • Using genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and cybernetic implants, they set out to conquer human nature.
  • However, the cybernetic approach requires kinetic information for all the reactions in the network.
  • Eventually the two came to the base of the temple, the huge doors tingling with cybernetic energy.


Pronunciation: /-nəˈtiSHən/
Example sentences
  • I believe that the cyberneticians anticipated the present day from three decades ago, but because of social dynamics they didn't communicate their ideas and have them artistically bound.
  • By laying the basis for a perfect power structure, the cyberneticians will only stimulate the perfection of its refusal.
  • Very briefly, cyberneticians studied the nervous system in order to understand human cognition.


Pronunciation: /-ˈnetəsəst/
Example sentences
  • It focuses on the literary discussions of artificial intelligence and the appreciation of this science in fiction over the years, from the Romantics to the cyberneticists.
  • So from my position as a cyberneticist I have always been (I hope) extremely tolerant of people when they act as they inevitably will in the context in which they find themselves.
  • A sociologist, a cyberneticist, or indeed an anthropologist would have been equally out of place at that recent art historical conference on medium.


1940s: from Greek kubernētēs 'steersman', from kubernan 'to steer'.

  • In 1948 the American mathematician Norbert Wiener wrote ‘We have decided to call the entire field of control and communication theory, whether in the machine or in the animal, by the name Cybernetics.’ He based the word on Greek kybernetes ‘steersman’. He was not quite as original as we might think as the work cybernétique had been used for the art of governing exactly 110 years earlier in France. The word introduced cyber- as a combining form giving us a whole range of new words from the cyberspace [1982] used by computers to the more exotic cyberpunk genre of science fiction [1983], and cybersex [1991].

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cy·ber·net·ics

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.