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Automaton   /ɔtˈɑmətˌɑn/   Listen
Automaton

noun
(pl. L. automata, E. automatons)
1.
Someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or apathetic way.  Synonyms: zombi, zombie.
2.
A mechanism that can move automatically.  Synonyms: golem, robot.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Automaton" Quotes from Famous Books



... that,—the kind city fathers,—and the walls are nicely padded, so that one can take such exercise as he likes without damaging himself on the very plain and serviceable upholstery. If anybody would only contrive some kind of a lever that one could thrust in among the works of this horrid automaton and check them, or alter their rate of going, what would the world give ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... individual into a straight-jacket from its earliest infancy; or to shape every human being according to one pattern; not into a well-rounded individuality, but into a patient work slave, professional automaton, tax-paying citizen, or righteous moralist. If one, nevertheless, meets with real spontaneity (which, by the way, is a rare treat,) it is not due to our method of rearing or educating the child: the personality often asserts ...
— Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 2, April 1906 - Monthly Magazine Devoted to Social Science and Literature • Various

... alternations of despair brought her to the brink of the grave. She was reduced almost to a shadow; she would go about the affair—she would entertain no other—with a sort of jerking, spasmodic activity as unlike muscular energy as if she were an automaton. She had no rest in her sleep, and would scream and cry out in weird accents at intervals, and dream such dreams! She would blanch when questioned, and close her lips fast, and never a word escaped them of what these visions of terror ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... long time before Mary Ann came so prominently into the centre of Lancelot's consciousness again. She remained somewhere in the outer periphery of his thought—nowhere near the bull's-eye, so to speak—as a vague automaton that worked when he pulled a bell-rope. Infinitely more important things were troubling him; the visit of Peter had somehow put a keener edge on his blunted self-confidence; he had started a grand opera, and worked at it furiously in all ...
— Merely Mary Ann • Israel Zangwill

... of collars, cuffs and shirt fronts does not contain Sing Lee. It contains merely an automaton. The laundry is owned by an automaton named Sing Lee, by nobody else. Now that the day's work is done he will sit like this for an hour, two hours, five hours. Time is not a matter of hours to Sing Lee. Or of ...
— A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago • Ben Hecht

... ceased but he did not notice it. With his head held back and staring straight before him at nothing he stalked on throwing his feet ahead like an automaton. The stars came out one after another and looked down pitilessly upon the tragedy that was being ...
— Ungava Bob - A Winter's Tale • Dillon Wallace

... was jet-black, his face clean-shaven; the skin, not ivory, but a dirty white, and flabby, like the belly of a toad. His thin and bloodless lips were flattened over a row of pure white teeth with glistening specks of gold that opened when he smiled; closing again slowly like an automaton's. His shrunken, colorless hands lay on the black cloth like huge white spiders; their long, thin legs of fingers turned up at the tips—stealthy, creeping fingers. Sometimes, too, in their nervous workings, they drooped together like ...
— A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others • F. Hopkinson Smith

... that the human brain is a mechanism. In the laboratory of Professor Goltz in Strasburg I saw a terrier from which he had removed, by repeated experiments, all the surface of the brain, thereby reducing the animal to a simple automaton. Looked at while lying in his stall, he seemed at first in no wise different from other dogs: he took food when offered to him, was fat, sleek and very quiet. When I approached him he took no notice of me, but when the assistant caught ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI., December, 1880. • Various

... hospital training, and very good at it, too, if I do say it as shouldn't; but that's all I am. Otherwise, I'm not anybody to anybody,—except a figure of romance to good old Stevie, who doesn't count in this kind of reckoning. I take naturally to nursing they tell me. A nurse is a kind of maternal automaton. I'm glad I'm that, but there used to be a lot more of me than that. There ought to be some heart and brain and soul left over, but there doesn't seem to be. Perhaps I am like the Princess in the fairy story whose heart was an auk's egg. Nobody had power to ...
— Turn About Eleanor • Ethel M. Kelley

... upon line, precept upon precept) is always to turn his back upon the future, and his face to the past. He is to believe that nothing is possible or desirable but what he finds already established to his hands in time-worn institutions or inveterate abuses. His unde to be made into a political automaton, a go-cart of superstition and prejudice, never stirring hand or foot but as he is pulled by the wires and strings of the state-conjurers, the legitimate managers and proprietors of the show. His powers of will, of thought, and action are to ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... sweeping their niece from them into a position of superiority and independence they were not at all prepared to see her take up; Nothing, indeed, could be prettier than her manner to them whenever she came across them, but it was evident that she was no longer an automaton to be moved at their will and pleasure, but a woman and an artist, mistress of herself and of her fate. Kendal fell into conversation on the subject with Mrs. Stuart, who was as communicative and amusing as usual, and who chattered away to him till he ...
— Miss Bretherton • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... her eyes from the spot on the carpet, or lowered the paper screen. She looked like a statue and spoke like an automaton. ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... what we are doing, but we must be able to know, or there will be nothing worth while to forget! The danger of the mechanical idea—the extreme technician's notion that the sign is enough—is that the person may become an automaton and inhibit the power of real feeling in himself; and though he may perform admirably and win the applause of some critics who love form unduly, he fails in the great issue and wins only superficial ...
— Expressive Voice Culture - Including the Emerson System • Jessie Eldridge Southwick

... with his own fingers, and, after some instruction in the method of operating, he was able to make the machine speak, not only in English but also in German, with which language the Duke seemed familiar. Thereafter, he entered his name on the exhibiter's autograph book, and certified that the "Automaton Speaker" was an extraordinary production ...
— A Unique Story of a Marvellous Career. Life of Hon. Phineas T. • Joel Benton

... did start up, as if lashed with a whip and, double locking the door which communicated with the ante-chamber, he put the key in his pocket; and, with a step as stiff and mechanical as that of an automaton, he disappeared ...
— Other People's Money • Emile Gaboriau

... longer the physical repulsion which hitherto had mastered all other feelings. Although she repeated to herself that she wanted never to see him again, Margaret could scarcely resist an overwhelming desire to go to him. Her will had been taken from her, and she was an automaton. She struggled, like a bird in the fowler's net with useless beating of the wings; but at the bottom of her heart she was dimly conscious that she did not want to resist. If he had given her that address, it was because he knew she would use it. She did ...
— The Magician • Somerset Maugham

... Loud cries had been raised from our own side, when it was seen that he was being brought up, to clear the bar that the whole House might witness the scene, and every one stood up in intense curiosity. There were now only this figure, less human even than an automaton, and two persons, R. Stuart and E. Ellice, pushing the chair in which he lay. A loud cry of 'Shame, Shame,' burst from our side; those opposite were silent. Those three were counted without passing the tellers, and the moment after ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... moved as mechanically as those of an automaton and her face was as expressionless. "Oh!" Her eyes seemed burning through Armitage. "And you made me believe—I ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... wondrous mortal, whose flashing eyes had long been fixed on me in the greatest excitement, worked his muscles in the peculiarly fantastic fashion which we are accustomed to associate with a music-making automaton, the mechanism of which has been duly wound up: his lips quivered, his teeth gnashed, his eyes rolled convulsively, until finally there broke forth, in a hoarse oily voice, an uncommonly trivial street-ballad. Its delivery, accompanied by a regular movement ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... waiting-room, and there on a bench sat Isaac Levi. Crawley stopped dead short and would have drawn back, but Levi beckoned to a seat near him. Crawley came walking like an automaton from whose joints the oil had suddenly dried. With infinite repugnance he took the seat, not liking to refuse before several persons who saw the invitation. Mr. Wood sat on the other side of him. "What does ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... his sweet deathlike face. His eyes were fast closed, and he had no sign of life about him. I shut the door behind me, and approached the bed. When Catherine caught sight of me, she showed no surprise or emotion of any kind. Her lips, with automaton-like movement, ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. 175 Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame, A mechanized automaton. When Nero, 180 High over flaming Rome, with savage joy Lowered like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear The shrieks of agonizing death, beheld The frightful desolation spread, and felt A new-created sense within his soul 185 ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... motionless receptacle for all that quantity of wine. It lay inert in my fear-inert stomach. I was too frightened, even, for my stomach to turn. So all that Italian crew looked on and marvelled at the infant phenomenon that downed wine with the sang-froid of an automaton. It is not in the spirit of braggadocio that I dare to assert they had never seen ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... arrival, Muriel had been to Roland Bleke a mere automaton, a something outside himself that was made only for neatly-laid breakfast tables and silent removal of plates at dinner. Gradually, however, when his natural shyness was soothed by use sufficiently to enable him to look at her when she came into the room, he discovered that she was a strikingly ...
— A Man of Means • P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill

... becoming suddenly intimidated, "of—of Marsa. She is very ill-Marsa is. Very ill. Stupor, Fargeas says. She does not say a word-nothing. A regular automaton! It is terrible ...
— Prince Zilah, Complete • Jules Claretie

... and with a yet larger display, a yet wider range of knowledge and reflection; and lastly, with the same perfect dominion, often domination, over the whole world of language. What then shall we say? even this; that Shakespeare, no mere child of nature; no automaton of genius; no passive vehicle of inspiration, possessed by the spirit, not possessing it; first studied patiently, meditated deeply, understood minutely, till knowledge, become habitual and intuitive, wedded itself ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... watch her. Her long train swept rustling over the stairs; behind her came a servant, not immediately in the wake of his mistress on the red carpet, but at the side along the wall with irreproachable gravity. The absurd contrast between the magnificent creature and the automaton following her brought a smile to ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... neither," answered Dominie Sampson, in a voice whose untuneable harshness corresponded with the awkwardness of his figure. They were the first words which Mannering had heard him speak; and as he had been watching with some curiosity, when this eating, drinking, moving, and smoking automaton would perform the part of speaking, he was a good deal diverted with the harsh timber tones which issued from him. But at this moment the door opened, and ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... from her chair like an automaton—rigid and upright, her mouth opened as for a wild shriek, but all power of sound was choked in her throat. She ran into the inner room like one possessed, her mouth still wide open for the frantic shriek which would not come, for that agonizing ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... man, made bad by circumstances, but retaining many marks of a noble character, and she fills his conversation with slang, makes him impudent and lustful, a rascal in every sense of the word, without the remotest idea of what true chivalric love for a woman means; and this mechanical automaton, whose every motion reveals that he moves not by vital powers but by springs and machinery, she makes her pure-minded heroine love ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various

... in the Cleopatre of Marmontel, he fancied that he could reproduce the hissing of the asp, just as the automaton invented for the purpose by Vaucanson might have done it. The abortive effort made them laugh all the evening. The tragedy ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... street, the lonely "trap" was, somehow, two blocks away in the opposite direction, moving very slowly, and very upright, and very straight, like an automaton. ...
— While the Billy Boils • Henry Lawson

... road to the arsenal is by a wide and vacant avenue, which abuts against a gate where automaton sentries walk, but the same gate can best be reached on foot by the shores of the Potomac, in the sight, of the forts, the ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... truth without 'scientific evidence.' But what is the use of being a genius, unless with the same scientific evidence as other men, one can reach more truth than they? Why does Clifford fearlessly proclaim his belief in the conscious-automaton theory, although the 'proofs' before him are the same which make Mr. Lewes reject it? Why does he believe in primordial units of 'mind-stuff' on evidence which would seem quite worthless to Professor Bain? Simply because, like every human being ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... did not function—but his legs moved regularly. In the grasp of this mental, metal monster he was a mere automaton. Phobar noticed idly that he had to step down from a flat disk a dozen yards across. By some power, some tremendous discovery that he could not understand, he had been transported across millions of miles of space—undoubtedly ...
— Raiders of the Universes • Donald Wandrei

... concerning my fellow- lodgers at Les Trois Pigeons; however, it had been comparatively a torpid growth; my meeting with them served to enlarge it so suddenly and to such proportions that I wonder it did not strangle me. In fine, I sat there brush-paddling my failure like an automaton, and saying over and over aloud, "What is wrong with him? What ...
— The Guest of Quesnay • Booth Tarkington

... before him, immovably. All the sea of human life and motion seemed to surge around and below him, and to die away into stillness about his feet. A censer was brought to him; and he raised his hand with the action of an automaton, and put the incense into the vessel, looking neither to the right ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... again, beginning to move slowly up and down, like the strong right arm of some automaton giant. Greater and lesser cog-wheels caught up the motive power, revolving slowly and majestically, and with steady, regular rotation, or whirling round so fast you could hardly see that they stirred at all. Of a sudden a soul had been put into that wonderful creature ...
— John Halifax, Gentleman • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... scorn I heard recounted the history of our Proteuses of politics! With what disdainful glances I regarded the Turcarets of finance, lolling on the cushions of some magnificent carriage, and conducted by a laced automaton to the boudoir of some Aspasia. But if I heard told the mighty deeds of the Knights of the Round Table, or the valor of the crusaders celebrated in flowing verse; if chance placed in my hand the great actions of our modern Rolands, recounted in an army ...
— The Man With The Broken Ear • Edmond About

... form of logic and consequently a summary of reality and idea,—appears again as a universal method of instruction. Fit fabricando faber: of all systems of education the most absurd is that which separates intelligence from activity, and divides man into two impossible entities, theorizer and automaton. That is why we applaud the just complaints of M. Chevalier, M. Dunoyer, and all those who demand reform in university education; on that also rests the hope of the results that we have promised ourselves from such reform. If education were first ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... upon a side seat, where she sat with that same look of agony turned to marble, on her face. Some one came up and invited her to join in the promenade. Scarcely recognizing the speaker, or comprehending what he said, she arose, more like an automaton than a living woman, and let herself be led away to ...
— Cruel As The Grave • Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... scientific investigation, you try to reduce the spontaneous in life to a minimum. Mr. Arnold Bennett puts forth a rather curious hybrid when he advises us to treat ourselves as free agents and everyone else as an automaton. On the other hand Prof. Muensterberg has always insisted that in social relations we must always treat everyone ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... culture of the faculties, also, gives versatility of talent, so that, if the customary business of the laborer is superseded by improvements, he can readily betake himself to another kind of employment. But an uncultivated mind is like an automaton, which can do only the thing for which its wheels or springs were made. Brute force expends itself unproductively. It is ignorant of the manner in which Nature works, and hence it can not avail itself of her mighty agencies. Often, indeed, it ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... thought of the possibility of winning the marquise; but from the moment in which his brother, with no apparent motive of personal interest, aroused the idea that he might be beloved, every spark of passion and of vanity that still existed in this automaton took fire, and he began to be doubly assiduous and attentive to his sister-in-law. She, who had never suspected any evil in this quarter, treated the chevalier at first with a kindliness that was heightened by her scorn for the abbe. But, before ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE GANGES—1657 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... without a pillow? It must be an army habit after tent-less nights of exhaustion in the deadly trenches. People—men—had tried to kill this living silent thing before her; and he too—he too had wanted to kill. She wondered at that as with the motion of a will-less automaton she drew nearer step by step. Her feet unwatched struck the half-filled game-bag. She stumbled, caught her breath, and had a moment of fear as she hung the bag on the wooden hook upon which as a child she used ...
— Westways • S. Weir Mitchell

... vans, cabs, omnibuses, crossed and intermingled in a steaming splash-bath of mud; human beings, reduced to their due paltriness, seemed to toil in exasperation along the strips of pavement, bound on errands, which were a mockery, driven automaton-like by forces they neither understood nor ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... and natural phenomena marked with the marvellous. The properties of Sound are next in interest; among them we find explained the wonder of singers breaking glasses with their great power of voice; the automaton flute-player, talking engines, echoes, &c. The Mechanical causes are less numerous: among them we are glad to see noticed the feat of lifting heavy persons, which we ourselves have often seen accomplished; but Sir David Brewster does not supply the cause. As the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, - Issue 560, August 4, 1832 • Various

... of the soul, with which the mere intelligence has nothing to do; and which, when they rise up, like an enraged elephant from the jungle, scatter all the conventionalities of our training, and all the smooth and automaton-like operations of our minds to the winds. As I stood there, listening to the dead-level, unimpassioned, mechanical voice of the phonograph, pouring forth those deadly sentences, I realized for the first time what the sunny-haired little songstress ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... realities, not fictions, yet there are epochs in the transit which are peculiarly exciting. These are the startings, the ascents, the descents, the tunnels, the Chat Moss, the meetings. At the instant of starting, or rather before, the automaton belches forth an explosion of steam, and seems for a second or two quiescent. But quickly the explosions are reiterated, with shorter and shorter intervals, till they become too rapid to be counted, though still distinct. ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... and the abominably loose is a most difficult one to maintain. It is, of course, desirable that the young student pass through a certain period of strict discipline, but if this discipline succeeds in making an automaton, of what earthly use is it? Is it really necessary to instruct our little folks to think that everything must be done in a "cut and dried" manner? Take the simple matter of time, for instance. Listen to the playing of most ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... corpse-like aspect than was natural to it, had in it something so appealing, something so imbecile and meek, that a strange feeling of compassion removed all tendency to laughter. Had he learned these reverences from an automaton or a performing dog? Is this beseeching look the look of one who is sick unto death, or does there lurk behind it the mocking cunning of a miser? Is that a mortal who in the agony of death stands before the public in the art arena, ...
— Great Violinists And Pianists • George T. Ferris

... the truth, the truth that he would not let himself recognize. Her depredations probably had much wider scope than he guessed. He must save her from herself; he must somehow reach the submerged personality and awaken it to the hideousness of that other, the soulless, heartless automaton that schemed and executed crimes with mechanical exactitude. He took a long breath of determination, and again grinned at the farce he was playing for his own benefit. Through repetition he was beginning to believe in the fiction ...
— Out of the Ashes • Ethel Watts Mumford

... the air of fascination with which she had watched him all the time they were together. He had made nothing of her then, but the impression had remained that she was the one hopeful source of knowledge in the house. Now she looked dull and moved about in Jake's wake like an automaton. Yet Hammersmith made up his mind to speak to her as soon as ...
— Room Number 3 - and Other Detective Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... astonishment, and every voice was hushed as Lady ——— entered, her cheeks blushing from excitement, and her eye bright with anticipated triumph. She led the poor and humbly clad Ellen by the hand, who dared not look up, but with her gaze riveted on the splendid carpet, was brought like an automaton to the feet of the Duke, where she ...
— Ellen Duncan; And The Proctor's Daughter - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... different individuals to adapt themselves to their changing pigeon-holes in the college organism. A freshman must behave like a freshman, or he is laughed at. Yet he must not behave as if he were nothing but the automaton of a freshman, or he will be ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... material machines. We look here only to the necessity of the connection of events in a time-series as it is developed according to the physical law, whether the subject in which this development takes place is called automaton materiale when the mechanical being is moved by matter, or with Leibnitz spirituale when it is impelled by ideas; and if the freedom of our will were no other than the latter (say the psychological and comparative, not ...
— The Critique of Practical Reason • Immanuel Kant

... her arguments. It seemed that possibly even this machine of justice carried a small fragment of sympathy in his soul. Certainly he was not the judicial automaton she had expected ...
— The Odds - And Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... chief. The smallest digression on Babbacombe's part he invariably ignored as unworthy of his attention, till even Babbacombe, with all his courtly consideration for others, began to regard him as a mere automaton, and almost to ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... Like an automaton whose mechanism is broken she turned quickly, and, seeing nothing, feeling nothing but instinct, tried to hide herself. A gate was before her; she would have entered but a voice still more imperious checked her. ...
— An Eagle Flight - A Filipino Novel Adapted from Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... doubt, to say. But has any one of the distinguished advocates of the automatic theory ever acted on it, or allowed his thoughts to be really ruled by it for a moment? What can be imagined more strange than an automaton suddenly becoming conscious of its own automatic character, reasoning and debating about it automatically, and coming automatically to the conclusion that the automatic theory of itself is true? Nor is there any occasion here to entangle ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... hands, and each was avoiding looking at the other. The official was smiling like an automaton. The father turned his back brusquely, and threading his way through the throng, entered a cafe, where for some time he needed the most retired seat in the darkest earner ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... came up with another man in his arms and popped him down just as if he was a block; he had no sooner deposited his burden than he began a long harangue upon the talents of the individual whom he had just deposited before us, in acting a machine or automaton, he then to prove his assertion gave him a knock on the back of the head, when it fell forward just as if it had belonged to a figure made with joints; he then gave it a chuck of the chin so violent that it sent the head back so as to lean on the coat collar; ...
— How to Enjoy Paris in 1842 • F. Herve

... Time, unchanging automaton, moved on until late spring. Paradox of nature, the warm brown tints of chilly days gave place under the heat of slanting suns to the cool green of summer. All at once, sudden as though autochthonal, there appeared meadow-larks ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... poor Uncle Harry used to say; and once I overheard him mutter, "I've more patience with a young fool than an old one." Such training has not had a good effect on Cousin Amelia. She has been so constantly tutored to conceal her emotions and to adopt the carriage and manners of an automaton that the girl is now a complete hypocrite. It is quite impossible to make her out. If you tickled her, I don't believe you could get her to laugh; and if you struck her, I very much doubt whether she would cry. My aunt calls it "self-command;" I call it "imbecility." She ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... always through the same locality and along identical pavements, rain or shine, insensible to cold and to heat, wearing his frock coat in every weather, continuing on his way with the regularity of a clock automaton which steps out, travels his little course, and then conceals himself at the stroke ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... ages the word character has assumed many meanings. Originally it signified probably the dominant ground-note in the complex mass of the self, and as such it was confused with temperament. Afterward it became the middle-class term for an automaton, so that an individual whose nature had come to a stand still, or who had adapted himself to a certain part in life—who had ceased to grow, in a word—was named a character; while one remaining in a ...
— Plays by August Strindberg, Second series • August Strindberg

... putting aside the lenses of passion and prejudice, he coolly, quietly, relentlessly judged men and women and their works; neither loving nor hating, pitying nor despising his race; looking neither to right nor left; laboring steadily as a thoroughly well-balanced, a marvellously perfect intellectual automaton. ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... hot cakes! The old cake woman had resumed her nightly tour, and again we heard her rapid footsteps and her shrill refrain. Always at the same hour, with the regularity of an automaton, she went by our house. And the long winter recommenced in the same manner as had the preceding ones, and as were similarly to begin the ...
— The Story of a Child • Pierre Loti

... automaton she accepted the booklet from him; like a doll automaton she followed Charley Chubb out into the street, and her limbs were trembling ...
— Every Soul Hath Its Song • Fannie Hurst

... bicycle pedalled too slow, he stepped awry on so small an obstacle as a cinder, and toppled over on his face like an automaton running down. ...
— Tramping on Life - An Autobiographical Narrative • Harry Kemp

... on the way to the boat, on the little vessel itself, I expected Slafe to relax, to indulge in a conversational word, to do something to mark him as more than an automaton. But his actions were confined to using the nasalsyringe, to exchanging one camera for another, to quizzing the sun through that absurd lorgnette, and to muttering over cans of film which he sorted and resorted, ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... us test Mr. Burroughs's test of reason and instinct. When I was a small boy I had a dog named Rollo. According to Mr. Burroughs, Rollo was an automaton, responding to external stimuli mechanically as directed by his instincts. Now, as is well known, the development of instinct in animals is a dreadfully slow process. There is no known case of the development of a single instinct in ...
— Revolution and Other Essays • Jack London

... ceased to be, within the shadow of the roof. The brass band that came into the street once a week, in the morning, never brayed a note in at those windows; but all such company, down to a poor little piping organ of weak intellect, with an imbecile party of automaton dancers, waltzing in and out at folding-doors, fell off from it with one accord, and shunned ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... which he would have distained to enter at any other time. He was distracted. He did not know what he was doing. You could have led him over the edge of a precipice just as easily as into that wine-shop. He sat down like an automaton. He was speechless, but he saw a glass full of rough red wine before him, and emptied it. Heyst meantime, politely watchful, had taken a ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... game will feel that it is sufficiently absorbing to be woven in with the textures of government, of history, and of biography. It is of the nature of chess gradually to gather up all the senses and faculties of the player, so that for the time being he is an automaton chess-player, to whom life ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... most important requirements for good technique is that everything shall be true to life. When Anne, for the sake of a little bare-faced flattery, marries a man whom she loathes, we feel that no real woman would have done this. From that moment Anne becomes a mere paper automaton to us, and we can no longer be interested in her as we would in a living woman. The motivation, as it is called, the art of showing adequately why every person should act as he or she ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... murmured Bridget, turning instantly from a friend into an automaton, as was her custom on the rare occasions when I hardened myself to find fault. The words were submissive enough, but her manner announced that she had said her say, and would stick to it, though Herself, poor thing, must be humoured ...
— The Lady of the Basement Flat • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... he signaled. I rose like an automaton, and cast an involuntary glance about me; the guests were filing through the drawing-room, into the room where refreshments were laid. When the last had gone, I left the friendly protection of the niche by the fire-place, and stood so near him that I saw his nostrils quiver! Then there ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... He had a mental flash that Wagg did know exactly what he was about in his tactics. Lacking all idea of the scheme, Vaniman had not the heart to begin to ask for any details of the big plan at the crucial moment. He allowed himself to be an automaton. It was easy to do one thing at a time, as Wagg commanded; knowing nothing about what Wagg intended to do. Vaniman was not in a position to delay matters by doubts as to the best way of doing the thing. He walked behind the board ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... automaton, almost terrifyingly impersonal, loomed always above them, throwing its powerful and gigantic shadow across their lives. As they grew old enough to understand, it became to them the embodiment of occult and unpleasant authority which controlled their coming and going; which chose for them ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... an effort of his whole will, he made for the door of the secretary's room with little short steps, like an automaton. But he reeled on the way—and had to sit ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... as an automaton in her training and regularity, accompanied Bertie, to whom were confided all details of dress, all keys and jewels, with entire confidence and safety. An elaborate doll seemed the red-and-white and stupidly-staring Euphemia. ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... pride Of early manhood. Yestermorn he went. The sun shone bright, and scintillant the tide. O'er which the sea-mew swept, with dewy drops besprent. Before he went he kissed me; and I watched His boat that lay so still and stately, till Automaton she seemed, and that she moved To where she willed of her own force and law. But I knew better: his was the will That set the pretty sprite a-going. His arms controlled her to obedience: Those arms ...
— Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812. - A Drama. And Other Poems. • Sarah Anne Curzon

... soul of business. 'Not at all,' I answered. 'I am an automaton—nothing more. It is a typewriter's function to transcribe the words a client dictates as if they were absolutely meaningless ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen

... would be possible to study these facts experimentally if we had at our disposition a human being who, while retaining his sensations and their motor reactions, was by special circumstances rendered entirely spontaneous like a sensitive automaton, whose movements were neither intentionally produced nor intentionally repressed. In this way, melodic intervals in a hypnotized subject might be ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 4 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... together, she and Fenger, their minds often marching along without the necessity of a single spoken word. There was no doubt that Fenger's mind was a marvelous piece of mechanism. Under it the Haynes-Cooper plant functioned with the clockwork regularity of a gigantic automaton. System and Results—these were his twin gods. With his mind intent on them he failed to see that new gods, born of spiritual unrest, were being set up in the temples of Big Business. Their coming had been rumored for many years. Words such as Brotherhood, Labor, Rights, ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... not take place from any fault of the soul, but only because some of the principal parts of the body become corrupted. The body of a living man differs from that of a dead man in the same way as a watch or other automaton (that is to say, a machine which moves of itself) when it is wound up and has, in itself, the physical principle of the movements which the mechanism is adapted to perform, differs from the same watch, or other machine, when ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... man, you must have had ten cents on each of these letters, before they crossed the lines"; and "How can we pay postage?" "He knows we have no money"; "What good will the bits of paper do him at all, at all?" But the man kept on like an automaton. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 89, March, 1865 • Various

... and spasmodic movements of an ill-constructed automaton, he crossed the room, and stepping very carefully over the prostrate body upon the floor, and with a hesitating reluctance that he could in no degree master, he unlocked, ...
— The Ruby of Kishmoor • Howard Pyle

... audiencia audience, hearing. augusto august, majestic. aumentar to augment. aun or aun still, yet, even. aunque although. ausencia absence. austero austere. austriaco Austrian. automata m. automaton. autor-a author. autoridad f. authority. auxiliar to aid, assist, attend a dying person. auxilio aid. avanzar to advance. avaro avaricious. ave f. bird. avecindar to make a neighbor or fellow-citizen. avergonzar ...
— Novelas Cortas • Pedro Antonio de Alarcon

... Sybil Latham, and then, rigidly as an automaton, she walked swiftly to her husband's side. For a moment the two stood facing each other, eye riveted to eye. Her beautiful bare arms flew out swiftly, resting upon his shoulders, ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... of my guide, but of similar fashion, was standing motionless near the threshold. My guide touched it twice with his staff, and it put itself into a rapid and gliding movement, skimming noiselessly over the floor. Gazing on it, I then saw that it was no living form, but a mechanical automaton. It might be two minutes after it vanished through a doorless opening, half screened by curtains at the other end of the hall, when through the same opening advanced a boy of about twelve years old, with features closely resembling those of my guide, so that they seemed ...
— The Coming Race • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... of an automaton speaking-machine which Mr. Franklin Peale and himself had recently inspected. The machine was made to resemble as nearly as possible, in every respect, the human vocal organs; and was susceptible of varied movements by means of keys. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... expect me to enlarge upon the sufferings of that time. By some I was thought stoical; by others, a prey to such grief that only my duty as judge kept me to my task. Neither opinion was true. What men saw facing them from the Bench was an automaton wound up to do so much work each day. The real Ostrander was not there, but stood, an unseen presence at the bar, undergoing trial side by side with John Scoville, for a crime to make angels weep and humanity hide its ...
— Dark Hollow • Anna Katharine Green

... of damnation. The activities of Considine were practically limited to his Sunday services, but though the softness of the climate might eventually have transformed him into a likeness of the ancient automaton who had preceded him, it was not in his nature to take things easily. He came of a vigorous stock. The clear, thin air of the Wiltshire downland that his ancestors had breathed makes for energy of temperament. At Roscarna he had given vent to this ...
— The Tragic Bride • Francis Brett Young

... man Of virtuous soul commands not nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame A mechanized automaton." ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley as a Philosopher and Reformer • Charles Sotheran

... never seed the day's work I didn't git paid for yit, and you'll pay for this. Git up thar, you cussed old critters," and the man struck the horses sharply with a lump of dirt. Away went the crazy rattling old automaton round and round the garden in spite ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... not to think, not to speak, to mould himself to that dead world; he would be among the living statues peopling the upper cloister, one more automaton; he would imitate those beings who seemed to have absorbed into themselves something of the austerity of the granite buttresses, he would inhale like a healing balsam the scent of the rusty iron railings and the incense that spread ...
— The Shadow of the Cathedral • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... devised an ingenious decoration. Above an excellent portrait of the new Empress there appeared a rainbow; on one side, his happiest invention, an automaton, which the Viennese called the War Trumpet. But a Genius was silencing it by pointing to this motto, Tace, mundus concors, "Silence, the world is ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... fatality. If that girl, Clara Talboys, had been five minutes later, I should have left Dorsetshire thinking her cold, hard, and unwomanly, and should have gone to my grave with that mistake part and parcel of my mind. I took her for a stately and heartless automaton; I know her now to be a noble and beautiful woman. What an incalculable difference this may make in my life. When I left that house, I went out into the winter day with the determination of abandoning all further thought of the secret of George's ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... long since, a man talking to a bright woman on the train, and his manner of comporting himself set me to thinking of the peculiar ways men have of addressing themselves to women. Some talk to a woman very much as they might talk to the wonderful automaton around at the museum when it plays a game of chess. "Why, bless my soul, it really seems to be thinking! What apparent intelligence? What evident faculty of mental independence! It almost appears to possess the power of coherent thought!" Others sit ...
— A String of Amber Beads • Martha Everts Holden

... the real object is to determine whether the subject will see more than he is told, or whether he is a mere automaton. The result will tell whether his attention is of the narrow or broad type. If it be narrow, he will see only the forms in the first case and no words, and in the second case he will remember the words but be unable to recall the shape of the ...
— Applied Psychology: Making Your Own World • Warren Hilton

... Thorndyke. "There is no reason to suppose that he knew how he was dressed. You have heard Jervis's description of his condition; that of a mere automaton. You know that without his spectacles he was practically blind, and that he could not have worn them since we found them at the house in Kennington Lane. Probably his head was wrapped up in the veil, and ...
— The Mystery of 31 New Inn • R. Austin Freeman

... infallibility another. The gifts of the Spirit were, like the gifts of Nature, subordinated to the will—capable of being used for good or evil, sometimes pure, sometimes mixed with human infirmity. The supernaturally gifted man was no mere machine, no automaton ruled in spite of himself by a superior spirit. Disorder, vanity, over-weening self-estimation, might accompany these gifts, and the prophetic utterance itself might be degraded to a mere brawling in the Church; therefore St. Paul established laws of control, ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... is obscure, the fault is Plutarch's. His word for Fortune is [Greek: tuche] which he has often used in the Life of Sulla. The word for Spontaneity is [Greek: to automaton], the Self-moved. The word for Elemental things is [Greek: ta hupokeimena] . The word [Greek: hupokeimenon] is used by Aristotle to signify both the thing of which something is predicated, the Subject of grammarians, and ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... Jacob's mitten, which was torn at the thumb, and mended it before his eyes, biting off the thread with her whit teeth, and saying "Now it will be warmer" as she bit; and finally, how she shook hands with every boy in turn and, throwing a deprecating glance at the female automaton, insisted upon ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... their own, resisted stoutly and well. For an instant he seemed to see this unnatural contest between a dead intelligence and a breathing mechanism only as a spectator—such fancies are in dreams; then he regained his identity almost as if by a leap forward into his body, and the straining automaton had a directing will as alert and fierce as that ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... that timid overgrown boy; and he, submissive rather than seeking, allowed things to take their course, like a superior being with thoughts absorbed in higher things, and responding to affairs of earth like an automaton. ...
— Mayflower (Flor de mayo) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... in the years of his prosperity of putting his hand to his mouth and of opening his eyes in an assumption of surprise, which had no basis in fact, now grew upon him. He really degenerated, although he did not know it, into a mere automaton. Life strews its shores with such interesting and ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... I was not fit to teach children, or to be with them: I had already reduced the boy to little better than an automaton; I had broken his fine spirit with my rigid severity; and I should freeze all the sunshine out of his heart, and make him as gloomy an ascetic as myself, if I had the handling of him much longer. And poor Rachel, too, came in for her share of ...
— The Tenant of Wildfell Hall • Anne Bronte

... touch with terrible natural forces unknown to the peasant, but instead of being mastered by them he controls them. The gigantic mechanism of iron and steel which fills the factory, which makes him move like an automaton, which sometimes clutches him, bruises him, mutilates him, does not engender in him a superstitious terror as the thunder does in the peasant, but leaves him unmoved, for he knows that the limbs of the mechanical monster were fashioned and mounted by his ...
— Communism and Christianism - Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View • William Montgomery Brown

... the revolting process that had turned Bill Jones from a human being into a mindless automaton was repeated with Professor Ralston. It happened as before, too rapidly for intervention, too suddenly for the minds of the onlookers to shake off the paralysis of an unprecedented nightmare. But when the victim was thrown to the surface, when he stepped out, drained of the grayish smokelike ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930 • Various

... about her. Mrs. Trussit now never spoke to him (and indeed never spoke to any one if she could help it), and went up and down the stairs in her rustling black and flat white face and jingling keys as though she was no human being at all but only a walking automaton that you wound up in the morning and put away in the cupboard at night—Mrs. Trussit was ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... goods. I call him a man, but he looked, to my fancy, like an ancient frog, or the semblance of what had once been a frog, from which, however, all the impulses and juices that had made him alive had slowly leaked away, until nothing but the shell was left. He was a pithless automaton, in whom mind and emotions had long since become inert, and only enough sensibility was left to enable him to feel dimly miserable. Who was he—or, better, who had he been? I learned that for seven years he had sat in that same chair from morning till ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... asked if she had followed the Chinese of her own free will or if violence had been used in taking possession of her and she too repeated like an automaton: ...
— My Friends the Savages - Notes and Observations of a Perak settler (Malay Peninsula) • Giovanni Battista Cerruti



Words linked to "Automaton" :   mechanism, automatic, humanoid, automatise, unusual person, android, automatize, mechanical man, anomaly



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