a person or thing that radiates.
any of various heating devices, as a series or coil of pipes through which steam or hot water passes.
a device constructed from thin-walled tubes and metal fins, used for cooling circulating water, as in an automobile engine.
Radio. a transmitting antenna.

1830–40; radiate + -or2

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
radiator (ˈreɪdɪˌeɪtə)
1.  a device for heating a room, building, etc, consisting of a series of pipes through which hot water or steam passes
2.  a device for cooling an internal-combustion engine, consisting of thin-walled tubes through which water passes. Heat is transferred from the water through the walls of the tubes to the airstream, which is created either by the motion of the vehicle or by a fan
3.  (Austral), (NZ) an electric fire
4.  electronics the part of an aerial or transmission line that radiates electromagnetic waves
5.  an electric space heater

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1836, "any thing that radiates," from radiate (see radiant) + agent suffix -or. Meaning "heater" is from 1851; sense of "cooling device in internal combustion engine" is 1900.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
radiator   (rā'dē-ā'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
A body that emits radiation. Radiators are commonly designed to transfer heat energy from one place to another, as in an automobile, in which the radiator cools the engine by transferring heat energy from the engine to the air, or in buildings, where radiators transfer heat energy from a furnace to the air and objects in the surrounding room.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The heat was removed from the sealed water system through an in-room radiator:
  room air was cooled by normal air conditioning.
Temperature differences between rooms might signal problems with the air ducts
  or radiator venting.
Every cooling system will have an overflow reservoir next to the radiator.
Its only sources of heat are a small radiator and two vertical steam pipes, one
  in the kitchen and the other in the bathroom.
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