limit switch

noun
a switch that automatically cuts off current to an electric motor when an object moved by it, as an elevator, has passed a given point.

Origin:
1925–30

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Example sentences
The following diagram shows a mechanical limit switch wired to a pair of
  indicator lights.
The hoist upper limit switch can be used as a stop only when the hoist is
  equipped with a backup limit switch.
Raise empty hook at creep until limit switch trips and stop hoisting motion.
For example, it is not the intent to manually operate and test each limit
  switch.
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