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[kuh-lek-ter] /kəˈlɛk tər/
a person or thing that collects.
a person employed to collect debts, duties, taxes, etc.
a person who collects books, paintings, stamps, shells, etc., especially as a hobby.
Electricity. a device for accumulating current from contact conductors.
Electronics. an electrode in a transistor or vacuum tube for collecting electrons, ions, or holes.
Metallurgy, promoter (def 5).
Energy. solar collector.
Origin of collector
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin, equivalent to Latin colleg- (variant stem of colligere; see collect1) + -tor -tor
Related forms
collectorship, collectorate, noun
precollector, noun
subcollector, noun
subcollectorship, noun
undercollector, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for collector
  • But only the rare sympathetic critic or adventuresome collector actually spent money on the group's art.
  • The collector has dried all the plants in his herbal, but he has lost weight and humor.
  • Let me add that ours is in no sense a collector's library.
  • To better determine the value of your collection, please contact a collector in your area.
  • Such systems generally consist of a roof-mounted solar collector and a storage tank.
  • Another technique uses moveable mirrors to focus the sun's rays on a collector tower, where a receiver sits.
  • Now you can experience these landmark adventures into the unknown in this collector's video.
  • Stager suspects that the lamps belonged to a collector.
  • Perhaps, using a thermocouple would be more efficient than using a photovoltaic device in the solar collector.
  • He was a large collector of folk art and tools and had a museum nearby.
British Dictionary definitions for collector


a person or thing that collects
a person employed to collect debts, rents, etc
the head of a district administration in India
a person who collects or amasses objects as a hobby
(electronics) the region in a transistor into which charge carriers flow from the base
Derived Forms
collectorship, noun
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 collector

late 14c., "gatherer of taxes, etc.," from Anglo-French collectour "collector" (of money or taxes; Old French collector, Modern French collecteur), from Late Latin collector, agent noun from colligere (see collect). Fem. form collectress is attested from 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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