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[sen-sawr, -ser] /ˈsɛn sɔr, -sər/
a mechanical device sensitive to light, temperature, radiation level, or the like, that transmits a signal to a measuring or control instrument.
1925-30; sense + -or2
Can be confused
censer, censor, censure, sensor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sensors
  • Capsaicin stimulates the neural sensors in the tongue and skin that also detect rising temperatures.
  • Lenses and sensors or film cannot do this by themselves.
  • They have poor eyesight, and stalk prey using chemical receptors in their tongues and heat-sensors along the jaws.
  • The yellow sulfur makes the water appear green to the satellite's sensors.
  • Night-vision cameras, biometric sensors and other gadgets already give snoops access to private spaces.
  • Floor sensors track human movement, video cameras detect faces and gestures, and microphones pick up speech.
  • These sensors detect light, and control the output of a pulsed electrical current.
  • The scientists are still parsing the data collected by the gliders' sensors.
  • Scientists say if animals can determine individual scents, then sensors could be designed to do the same thing.
  • How about sensors on both side of subduction zones to measure the distance between them to verify a locked zone.
British Dictionary definitions for sensors


anything, such as a photoelectric cell, that receives a signal or stimulus and responds to it
Word Origin
C19: from Latin sēnsus perceived, from sentīre to observe
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 sensors



1947, from an adjective (1865), a shortened form of sensory (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sensors in Medicine

sensor sen·sor (sěn'sər, -sôr')

  1. A device, such as a photoelectric cell, that receives and responds to a signal or stimulus.

  2. See sense organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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