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.]
Any thing or being regarded as having the power of spontaneous motion or action.
So great and admirable an automaton as the world.
These living automata, human bodies.
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.
© Webster 1913.