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generator

[jen-uh-rey-ter] /ˈdʒɛn əˌreɪ tər/
noun
1.
a machine that converts one form of energy into another, especially mechanical energy into electrical energy, as a dynamo, or electrical energy into sound, as an acoustic generator.
2.
a person or thing that generates.
3.
Chemistry. an apparatus for producing a gas or vapor.
4.
Mathematics.
  1. an element or one of a set of elements from which a specified mathematical object can be formed by applying certain operations.
  2. an element, as a line, that generates a figure.
5.
Computers. a program that produces a particular type of output on demand, as random numbers, an application program, or a report.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; < Latin generātor producer, equivalent to generā(re) (see generate) + -tor -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for generator
  • The generator converts the mechanical energy generated by the blades into usable electrical power.
  • The change in pressure drives the engine's pistons, which drive a shaft that turns a generator to produce electricity.
  • The gas is burned in an engine that runs an electrical generator.
  • But cars that get their electricity from an internal-combustion engine acting as a generator are a reality.
  • Even the energy was homemade, powered by a hydroelectric generator in the mill race.
  • The small combustion engine uses an electric generator and a super-powered electric motor to drive the propeller.
  • Beyond that range, its combustion engine will kick in, powering a generator for its onboard battery.
  • When the battery dies, a gasoline engine drives a generator that keeps the juice flowing.
  • Trains use a diesel engine to run either a generator or an alternator.
  • The turbine converts the steam's energy into rotary motion, which turns a generator and makes electricity.
British Dictionary definitions for generator

generator

/ˈdʒɛnəˌreɪtə/
noun
1.
(physics)
  1. any device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy by electromagnetic induction, esp a large one as in a power station
  2. a device for producing a voltage electrostatically
  3. any device that converts one form of energy into another form: an acoustic generator
2.
an apparatus for producing a gas
3.
a person or thing that generates
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 generator
n.

1640s, "person or thing that generates," from Latin generator "a begetter, producer," agent noun from past participle stem of generare (see generation). Meaning "machine that generates power" first recorded 1794; in sense of "machine that generates electric energy," 1879. Fem. generatrix attested from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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generator in Medicine

generator gen·er·a·tor (jěn'ə-rā'tər)
n.
One that generates, especially a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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generator in Science
generator
  (jěn'ə-rā'tər)   
  1. A machine that converts mechanical energy into electricity to serve as a power source for other machines. Electrical generators found in power plants use water turbines, combustion engines, windmills, or other sources of mechanical energy to spin wire coils in strong magnetic fields, inducing an electric potential in the coils. A generator that provides alternating current power is called an alternator. See also induction.

  2. See generatrix.


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

generator definition


A device that produces electric current, usually by rotating a conductor in a magnetic field, thereby generating current through electromagnetic induction. This sort of generator produces an alternating current (AC).

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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