a device, including a relay actuated by thermal conduction or convection, that functions to establish and maintain a desired temperature automatically or signals a change in temperature for manual adjustment.
verb (used with object), thermostatted or thermostated; thermostatting or thermostating.
to equip or control with a thermostat.

1825–35; thermo- + -stat

thermostatic, adjective
thermostatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
thermostat (ˈθɜːməˌstæt)
1.  a device that maintains a system at a constant temperature. It often consists of a bimetallic strip that bends as it expands and contracts with temperature, thus breaking and making contact with an electrical power supply
2.  a similar device that actuates equipment, such as a sprinkler, when a certain temperature is reached

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1831, from thermo- + -stat, from Gk. statos "a standing," from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
thermostat   (thûr'mə-stāt')  Pronunciation Key 
A device that automatically controls heating or cooling equipment in such a way as to maintain a temperature at a constant level or within a specified range, generally using a thermometer capable of triggering electrical switches that activate or deactivate the equipment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

thermostat definition

A device that monitors and automatically responds to changes in temperature and activates switches controlling devices such as furnaces or air conditioners.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
First, if your furnace stops or will not start, check the thermostat.
Because our bedroom is on the second floor of our condo, it's usually warmer
  than the thermostat downstairs.
Make sure during these two weeks that the thermostat is not set too high.
The hypothalamus, which sits at the base of the brain, acts as the body's
Images for thermostat
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