[aw-tom-uh-ton, -tn]
noun, plural automatons, automata [aw-tom-uh-tuh] .
a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power; robot.
a person or animal that acts in a monotonous, routine manner, without active intelligence.
something capable of acting automatically or without an external motive force.

1605–15; < Latin: automatic device < Greek, noun use of neuter of autómatos spontaneous, acting without human agency, equivalent to auto- auto-1 + -matos, adj. derivative from base of memonénai to intend, ménos might, force

automatous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
automaton (ɔːˈtɒməˌtɒn, -tən)
n , pl -tons, -ta
1.  a mechanical device operating under its own hidden power; robot
2.  a person who acts mechanically or leads a routine monotonous life
[C17: from Latin, from Greek, from automatos spontaneous, self-moving]

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

1610s, from L. automaton (Suetonius), from Gk. automaton, neut. of automatos "self-acting," from autos "self" + matos "thinking, animated, willing," from PIE *mn-to-, from base *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

automaton definition

robotics, mathematics, algorithm
(Plural automata) A machine, robot, or formal system designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions.
Automata theory, the invention and study of automata, includes the study of the capabilities and limitations of computing processes, the manner in which systems receive input, process it, and produce output, and the relationships between behavioural theories and the operation and use of automated devices.
See also cellular automaton, finite state machine.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Even the walnut-sized automaton hidden inside the egg has a majestic appeal.
Humans are not pigeons, nor some kind of reward based automaton.
It was the first type of that kind of underwater automaton to do that type of
It helped to popularize amateur automaton tinkering.
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