Definition of rotor in English:



  • 1A rotary part of a machine or vehicle, in particular.

    • ‘It uses a massive sharp-toothed rotor to shred mines before they go off - or if not, simply to smother the explosion.’
    • ‘Rotors are easy to remove and maintain without removing the housing or the complete rotor assembly with the gearbox.’
    • ‘What if an aircraft could be driven by smaller, simpler engines that each turned a small fan-blade-like rotor underneath the vehicle?’
    • ‘Several mechanisms activated to swing the three remaining rotors around to form a triangle, and keep the device balanced.’
    • ‘When the stolen Enigma was returned, some rotors were still missing.’
    • ‘This lessens the wear on brake drums, rotors and pads.’
    • ‘I consider the plaintiff is entitled to recover the whole cost of the replacement rotor.’
    • ‘At that point Moller found himself wondering if there wasn't an intermediate, far easier target he could pick off along the way with the tiny rotors he was developing.’
    • ‘I like the shavers with individually pivoting rotors.’
    • ‘He suggests power to the attic as well, in case a rotor is required to turn the antenna to find different stations.’
    • ‘He dared not tip the ship too much or the main rotor could dig into the surface destroying the ship.’
    • ‘As a message was typed into the machine, these rotors would spin around and calculate a letter to substitute for each letter of the message.’
    • ‘While rotors have the ability to spray up to 75-100 feet, a pump that can create the required pressure may be cost prohibitive for most projects.’
    • ‘He stuffed the plastic bag containing the rotor and the keys in it into his pocket, and picked up the battery with both hands.’
    • ‘In each case, the valve rotors were deep enough to carry two sets of ports and auxiliary tubing.’
    • ‘Robots wind the copper wire around the rotors and assemble and weld the finished motor.’
    • ‘Enigma allowed an operator to type in a message, then scramble it by means of three to five notched wheels, or rotors, which displayed different letters of the alphabet.’
    • ‘It looked like a security camera with rotors and an energy pistol hanging from the bottom.’
    • ‘However, these machines clearly need more than just a rotor.’
    • ‘The Enigma machine contained a number of rotors.’
    1. 1.1A hub with a number of radiating airfoils that is rotated in an approximately horizontal plane to provide the lift for a rotary-wing aircraft.
      • ‘They were pretty useless when confronted with the high-pitched whine of the rotor's gears directly above our heads.’
      • ‘He walked up to Blaine just as the helicopter rotors disengaged.’
      • ‘The aircraft featured two large rotors located in nacelles on the ends of its wings linked to an air-cooled Daimler Benz 600 engine in the fuselage.’
      • ‘As the rotors slowed, a side hatch opened and the Security Chief climbed out, followed by Director Bakan and their respective aides.’
      • ‘The helicopter rises up over the ridge line, the noise of the rotors scattering the targets below.’
      • ‘The rotors started to spin up and they hurriedly jumped to the roof a few feet below, ducking to avoid the backwash from the spinning propellers as the copter lifted off the heliport and headed into the night skyline.’
      • ‘Will gave a light two fingered salute to those staying, as the rotors whirred and the chopper left.’
      • ‘The helicopters' rotors started turning, first slowly, then faster and faster, making a loud chopping noise as they cut the air.’
      • ‘He fired up the engine and the rotors began to whirl.’
      • ‘He barely dodged a humongous hammer that flew past him and destroyed the main rotor on one of the remaining helicopters.’
      • ‘With a soft hum of power the large rotors started up and the officers were off, soaring up to investigate the powerless upper levels of the massive city.’
      • ‘The sound of the helicopter's rumbling rotors became louder, as it flew by directly overhead us, and began hovering over the red smoke.’
      • ‘The shot was from a news helicopter and Cecil could hear the thudding of the helicopter rotors in the background as the reporter began to speak.’
      • ‘He raised his suntanned right arm to his face and shielded his eyes from the swirling clouds of dirt and dust kicked up by the Dauphin's rotors.’
      • ‘I could hear the thwapping of helicopter rotors, the grinding of tank treads, the sound of RPG's and bazookas.’
      • ‘They heard the engine revving and the quickening beat of the rotors.’
      • ‘The aircraft would have launched standing upright like a rocket, but instead of using a blast of fire to take off the pilot would have simply adjusted the thrust and pitch of the rotors as with a helicopter.’
      • ‘He opened the door and leapt out while the rotors were still spinning and brushed off his clothes.’
      • ‘You'll hear your rotor speeding up and slowing down, and the roar of missiles as they fly by you.’
      • ‘Then the sound of rotors is heard, and they look up, only to see the two Serpent helicopters hovering above them.’
    2. 1.2The rotating assembly in a turbine, especially a wind turbine.
      • ‘To achieve this same increase using a larger rotor is usually a more expensive choice than placing a smaller rotor on a higher tower where it will receive stronger winds.’
      • ‘A fearless reaper, it pivots on its tower to face the wind, propellerlike rotor already scything around, faster and faster.’
      • ‘The wind generated by the rotors while sitting on the ground is tremendous.’
      • ‘She had to return to Southampton and have the turbine rotors completely redesigned and rebuilt.’
      • ‘The higher-wattage plants, with their large-diameter, low-rotation-per-minute rotors, are designed to capture energy from low wind speeds.’
      • ‘Take away the 2.2 birds killed by the rotors, and the balance for wind energy, + 1707.8 birds per turbine a year, is not bad.’
      • ‘Should they malfunction or prove insufficient to slow the rotor in high winds, a large disk brake mounted on the generator shaft can smoothly bring the turbine to a halt.’
      • ‘‘The bigger the rotor, the more wind you can collect,’ Sagrillo explained.’
      • ‘The rotor turns an attached generator, creating electricity with a simple elegance, carving energy from the sky.’
      • ‘Wind plant rotors have either two or three blades.’
      • ‘Standing at the base of one of the towers, there's only a gentle whoosh as the rotors sweep around.’
    3. 1.3The armature of an electric motor.
    4. 1.4The rotating part of the distributor of an internal combustion engine that successively makes and breaks electrical contacts so that each spark plug fires in turn.
      • ‘This time we had lost the rotor arm as well and Phil had to sprint back 100 yards to find it.’
      • ‘Motorists who failed to immobilise their cars, by taking away the rotor arm from the distributor, were liable to find their tyres deflated by the police.’
      • ‘Unlike a piston engine, where reciprocating parts move up and down, the twin rotors in the Mazda just spin around.’
      • ‘Rear rotors are vented on the GT and solid on the V - 6.’
      • ‘I immediately changed the oil, plugs, distributor cap, rotor arm, and a friendly independent specialist fixed the exhaust.’
      • ‘While Freestone had a good run on his first experience of the stage, they had a nightmare when a broken rotor arm cost them over two minutes.’
      • ‘After 20 minutes he decided the problem was with the rotor arm, and fashioned some wire underneath it to solve the problem.’
      • ‘The heavy impact damaged the rotor arm and though he carried on, Andrew was handicapped by a misfiring engine and could only struggle home sixth.’
      • ‘It might have been tougher for Godfrey had the Cooper S of his competitors not lost nearly 10 minutes right at the start of the Radnor stage with a broken rotor arm.’
      • ‘For example, if D hires a car to P and then removes the rotor arm from it rendering it inoperable, he may be guilty of criminal damage.’
    5. 1.5The rotating container in a centrifuge.
      • ‘One junior intelligence analyst thought that although they weren't at all like modern American centrifuge rotors, they might be usable in what are known as a Zippe centrifuge.’
      • ‘The Department of Energy rejected the claim that the country was importing aluminum tubes to produce centrifuge rotors for enriching uranium.’
    6. 1.6The rotary winder of a clockwork watch.
    7. 1.7Meteorology A large eddy in which the air circulates around a horizontal axis, especially in the lee of a mountain.


Early 20th century: formed irregularly from rotator.