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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
  • The hand-wound armature is the size of an ankle shackle, built to last centuries.
  • There he began by sculpting clay applied to a wooden armature.
  • Generators had a ball bearing on one end of the armature and a bushing on the other end.
  • The basic dc motor loop circuit consists of a dc motor armature in series with a dc power supply.
  • The part of a motor armature to which the armature windings are connected.
  • When all the bronze pieces are ready, a stainless steel armature or interior framework is constructed.
  • The current in the armature coil oscillates, causing the field to change direction.
  • These motors have the field coil connected internally in series with the armature.
  • The armature systems and weights were mounted to the toolbar.
  • When the motor is running normally, the shaft and the clutch armature revolve with the motor armature.
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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