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[roh-buh t, -bot] /ˈroʊ bət, -bɒt/
a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command.
a person who acts and responds in a mechanical, routine manner, usually subject to another's will; automaton.
any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with humanlike skill.
operating automatically:
a robot train operating between airline terminals.
< Czech, coined by Karel Čapek in the play R.U.R. (1920) from the base robot-, as in robota compulsory labor, robotník peasant owing such labor
Related forms
robotism, noun
robotic, robotistic
[roh-buh-tis-tik, -bo-] /ˌroʊ bəˈtɪs tɪk, -bɒ-/ (Show IPA),
robotlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for robotic
  • For her doctoral dissertation, she developed a robotic shepherd capable of corralling a herd of twenty robots.
  • One might call it robotic, but that's not fair to robots, who don't generally have discomfiting gleams in their eyes.
  • Sly messed with the vocoder tube that transformed his voice into a robotic buzz.
  • Exhibitions of robotic dinosaurs seem to be back on the upswing.
  • The episode reminded me of my own early encounters with robotic dinosaurs.
  • It is the voice of a writer in a vacuum, who seems almost robotic, lifeless or empty.
  • In light of these hazards astrophysicists tell us that robotic probes are our best bet for exploring the cosmos.
  • The airplane rolled left, and the autopilot disengaged with a robotic warning and three chimes.
  • The first few pieces he wrote had a certain robotic quality.
  • These robotic probes paved the way for a giant leap forward in space exploration.
British Dictionary definitions for robotic


any automated machine programmed to perform specific mechanical functions in the manner of a man
(modifier) not controlled by man; automatic: a robot pilot
a person who works or behaves like a machine; automaton
(South African) a set of traffic lights
Derived Forms
robotic, adjective
robotism, robotry, noun
robot-like, adjective
Word Origin
C20: (used in R.U.R., a play by Karel Čapek) from Czech robota work; related to Old Slavonic rabota servitude, German Arbeit work
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 robotic

1941 (Asimov), from robot + -ic.



1923, from English translation of 1920 play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots"), by Karel Capek (1890-1938), from Czech robotnik "slave," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery," from robotiti "to work, drudge," from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude," from rabu "slave," from Old Slavic *orbu-, from PIE *orbh- "pass from one status to another" (see orphan). The Slavic word thus is a cousin to German Arbeit "work" (Old High German arabeit). According to Rawson the word was popularized by Karel Capek's play, "but was coined by his brother Josef (the two often collaborated), who used it initially in a short story."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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robotic in Medicine

robotic ro·bot·ic (rō-bŏt'ĭk)
Relating to or characteristic of a robot.

robot ro·bot (rō'bət, -bŏt')

  1. A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.

  2. A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.

  3. A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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robotic in Science
A machine designed to replace human beings in performing a variety of tasks, either on command or by being programmed in advance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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