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Source : Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Automaton \Au*tom"a*ton\, n.; pl. L. {Automata}, E.
   {Automatons}. [L. fr. Gr. ?, neut. of ? self-moving; ? self +
   a root ma, man, to strive, think, cf. ? to strive. See
   {Mean}, v. i.]
   1. Any thing or being regarded as having the power of
      spontaneous motion or action. --Huxley.

            So great and admirable an automaton as the world.

            These living automata, human bodies.  --Boyle.

   2. A self-moving machine, or one which has its motive power
      within itself; -- applied chiefly to machines which appear
      to imitate spontaneously the motions of living beings,
      such as men, birds, etc.

Source : WordNet®

     n 1: someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or apathetic
          way; "only an automaton wouldn't have noticed" [syn: {zombi},
     2: a mechanism that can move automatically [syn: {robot}, {golem}]
     [also: {automata} (pl)]

Source : Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing

         (Plural automata) A
        machine, {robot}, or {formal system} designed to follow a
        precise sequence of instructions.
        Automata theory, the invention and study of automata, includes
        the study of the capabilities and limitations of computing
        processes, the manner in which systems receive input, process
        it, and produce output, and the relationships between
        behavioural theories and the operation and use of automated
        See also {cellular automaton}, {finite state machine}.
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