thyristor

[thahy-ris-ter]
noun Electronics.
a semiconductor device having two stable states, used as an electronic switch.

Origin:
1965–70; thyr(atron) + (trans)istor

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World English Dictionary
thyristor (θaɪˈrɪstə)
 
n
any of a group of semiconductor devices, such as the silicon-controlled rectifier, that can be switched between two states
 
[C20: from thyr(atron) + (trans)istor]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

thyristor

any of several types of transistors having four semiconducting layers and therefore three p-n junctions; the thyristor is a solid-state analogue of the thyratron vacuum tube, and its name derives from the combination of the two words thyratron and transistor. A common form of thyristor is the silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR), used to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and widely used as a component of devices that control motor speeds, liquid levels, temperatures, and pressures.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Voltage from the charged condenser was fed to the spiral with the help of a
  power pulse thyristor.
The latter has the typical shape of a thyristor inverter current, with high
  ripple.
It is basically a capacitor bank in parallel with a thyristor controlled
  reactor.
The failure of a single solid state device, such as an output thyristor, should
  not render the safety circuit ineffective.
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