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definition of the word automaton

by the Wiktionnary

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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.

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


automatons or automata

automaton (plural automatons or automata)

  1. A machine or robot designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions.
    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
  2. A formal system, such as finite automaton.
  3. A toy in the form of a mechanical figure

Definition from Wiktionary
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