Definition of robot in English:



  • 1(especially in science fiction) a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically.

    ‘the robot closed the door behind us’
    ‘a sci-fi movie about time-travelling killer robots’
    • ‘The new NS 5 Automated Domestic Assistant carries out all your household chores, and robots also collect garbage, deliver packages, walk dogs.’
    • ‘We still need men to hunker down inside the killing machines, still dream of the day robots will do our bidding so we never need to bloody our hands.’
    • ‘We will see a time where humans and robots coexist without complicated interpersonal family issues or blind machine prejudice.’
    • ‘In this movie, the kids use their knowledge of the human skeleton, joints, and muscles to build a robot.’
    • ‘Somewhere along the line, he stopped fighting for the robots and tried to protect the humans from them.’
    • ‘As we discover near the film's conclusion, he has apparently developed an ability to create the robots based on pre-existing human forms.’
    • ‘When a scientist is murdered, apparently by a robot, detective Del Spooner, is asked to investigate, even though such a crime would violate the Laws of Robotics, which state that a robot can never harm a human being.’
    • ‘The film was very funny, with a young punk kid teaching an emotionless robot how to be more human, creating many funny and moving moments.’
    • ‘Whether such a robot could sustain for years the complex of attitudes and behaviors constitutive of a parent's love for a child is difficult to say.’
    • ‘They also meet and fight Hakaider, an android that looks more robot than human with his exposed brainpan.’
    • ‘The robots are chunky mechanized human figures of the sort that have long delighted little children on both sides of the Pacific.’
    • ‘It's something that robotics types call the Uncanny Valley, when a robot crosses over from seeming machinelike but hasn't yet achieved true human qualities.’
    • ‘Some of the best science fiction is not necessarily about robots and giant monsters - although I love those too.’
    • ‘Thirty-one years from now, in 2035, there is one robot for every five human beings.’
    • ‘He has suggested that robots with artificial intelligence will gain consciousness, supercede human intelligence, and ultimately become autonomous.’
    • ‘A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders conflict with the first law.’
    • ‘Even if a robot can love humans, can humans learn to love them back?’
    • ‘The stunts are staged to increase the spectacle, so that when cars pile into each other or toy robots battle, there is an intricate detail and near artistic quality.’
    • ‘In the play, the robots, having acquired human emotions, rebel against their servile status and destroy their masters.’
    • ‘Mike was happy to demonstrate a 4-foot robot made of mostly car parts that wailed its arms when controlled by remote.’
    automaton, android, machine, golem
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    1. 1.1 A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer.
      ‘half of all American robots are making cars or trucks’
      as modifier ‘a robot arm’
      • ‘For adults, it seems like robot vacuums and iPods are getting a lot of play.’
      • ‘However I called Julie the AMTRAK Robot and learned that Train 97 was running about 47 minutes late.’
      • ‘Science and design also are brought together with interactive robots and large-scale computer graphics.’
      • ‘Now that robots and computer simulations are replacing bench science, architects are giving researchers new laboratory environments that facilitate the exchange of ideas and bring together experts of many disciplines.’
      • ‘The body shop uses programmable robots with fixed tooling.’
      • ‘They are using a robot named SAM in some cities in the States to lay fiber-optic cables underground.’
      • ‘He quickly loaded it, associating the robot arm controller object with the program.’
      • ‘Another robot grabs and places a wooden pallet, then lays down a cardboard slip sheet before stacking cases two at a time for a total of 40 on each pallet, which are then stretchwrapped.’
      • ‘On her first flight Chawla was responsible for operating the shuttle's robot arm.’
      • ‘This robot should be able to go 40 or 50 kilometers, and really determine if there's life on Mars and what kind of life there really is.’
      • ‘In constructing the mobile robots to explore Mars' surface, the program involves a curriculum unit and a contest.’
      automaton, android, machine, golem
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner.
      ‘public servants are not expected to be mindless robots’
      • ‘Movies are not computers, and we're not robots, though the industry likes to think that.’
      • ‘The lead character changed physically, reinforcing his point that no matter what physical changes we can undergo we're all just genetically programmed robots here.’
      • ‘People cannot do that unless they're living in a dictatorship and want to be dictated to behave like robots.’
  • 2Computing

    another term for crawler
    • ‘Search engine robots are automated programs that traverse the web, indexing page content and following links.’
    • ‘What's good for the visitor is often good for the search engine robots.’
  • 3South African A set of automatic traffic lights.

    ‘waiting at a robot I caught the eye of a young woman’


1920s: from Czech, from robota ‘forced labour’. The term was coined in K. Čapek's play R.U.R ‘Rossum's Universal Robots’ (1920).