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[ahr-muh-cher] /ˈɑr mə tʃər/
Biology. the protective covering of an animal or plant, or any part serving for defense or offense.
  1. the part of an electric machine that includes the main current-carrying winding and in which the electromotive force is induced.
  2. the pivoted part of an electric device, as a buzzer or relay, that is activated by a magnetic field.
  3. the iron or steel applied across the poles of a permanent magnet to close it, or across the poles of an electromagnet to transmit a mechanical force.
Sculpture. a skeletal framework built as a support on which a clay, wax, or plaster figure is constructed.
Origin of armature
1535-45; (< Middle French) < Latin armātūra an outfit, armor, equivalent to armāt(us) equipped (see arm2, -ate1) + -ūra -ure
Can be confused
amateur, armature. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for armature
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let A represent the armature, with a pair of grooves (B) for the wires.

    Electricity for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • The voltage then depends on the speed at which the armature is driven.

    Electricity for the farm Frederick Irving Anderson
  • In the motor the armature, in turn, is rotated by this current.

    Steam Steel and Electricity James W. Steele
  • They differ in the armature of their cones and in their seed-wings.

    The Genus Pinus George Russell Shaw
  • During the normal operation of the lamp the armature lever L remains practically stationary, in the position shown in Fig. 283.

  • The heels of all are armed, though their armature is as varied as the costumes.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • The magneto is the usual six-cylinder form having the armature geared to revolve at one and one-half times crank-shaft speed.

    Aviation Engines Victor Wilfred Pag
  • Simple, Simplex: without process, armature, or appendage of any kind.

  • As armature, commutator, and shaft rotate, the brushes connect first with one segment of the commutator and then with the other.

    General Science Bertha M. Clark
British Dictionary definitions for armature


a revolving structure in an electric motor or generator, wound with the coils that carry the current
any part of an electric machine or device that moves under the influence of a magnetic field or within which an electromotive force is induced
Also called keeper. a soft iron or steel bar placed across the poles of a permanent magnet to close the magnetic circuit
such a bar placed across the poles of an electromagnet to transmit mechanical force
(sculpture) a framework to support the clay or other material used in modelling
the protective outer covering of an animal or plant
(archaic) armour
Word Origin
C15: from Latin armātūra armour, equipment, from armāre to furnish with equipment; see arm²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for armature

c.1400, "an armed force," from Latin armatura "armor, equipment," from armatus, past participle of armare "to arm, furnish with weapons" from arma (see arm (n.2)). Meaning "armor" is mid-15c.; that of "protective covering of a plant or animal" is from 1660s. Electromagnetic sense is from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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armature in Science
  1. The part of an electric motor or generator that consists of wire wound around an iron core and carries an electric current. In motors and generators using direct current, the armature rotates within a magnetic field; in motors and generators using alternating current a magnetic field is rotated about the armature.

  2. A piece of soft iron connecting the poles of a magnet.

  3. The part of an electromagnetic device, such as a relay or loudspeaker, that moves or vibrates.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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