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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



... a moment blinking in the light. Then Jurgis felt his companion pulling, and he stepped in, and the blue automaton closed the door. Jurgis's heart was beating wildly; it was a bold thing for him to do—into what strange unearthly place he was venturing he had no idea. Aladdin entering his cave could not have been ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... exhausting strain of the day, he was early chilled by the water into which he plunged the repentant sinners. For the last hour that he stood in the stream, his whole body was numb; he had ceased to feel life in his feet, and his arms worked with a mechanical stiffness like the arms of some automaton over which his mind ...
— The Lions of the Lord - A Tale of the Old West • Harry Leon Wilson

... they would." Eliot replied quite mechanically. He was hardly conscious that he had made any answer, and when, soon afterwards, Tony took himself off with a friendly: "Well, so long. See you in the morning, perhaps?" he responded once more like an automaton. ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... was a small man, and a withered one, burned inside and outside by ardent spirits and ardent sun. He was a cinder, a bit of a clinker of a man, a little animated clinker, not yet quite cold, that moved stiffly and by starts and jerks like an automaton. A gust of wind would have blown him ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... with an automaton-like stiffness, never changing his course, and occasionally stumbling as if unaware of the character of the ground over which he passed. His head swung out slightly to either side and he snapped each time. There was something sinister in every move, as if his body was driven ...
— The Yellow Horde • Hal G. Evarts

... automaton. Coming out from the priest's house, the Professor took a straight road, which, through an opening in the basaltic wall, led away from the sea. We were soon in the open country, if one may give that name to a vast extent of mounds ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... manifested itself. But here were visible only simple dullness, steady-going incapacity, which stood, through self-will, in the ranks of art, while its true place was among the lowest trades. The same colours, the same manner, the same practised hand, belonging rather to a manufacturing automaton ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... no great danger 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 ...
— The Tragic Bride • Francis Brett Young

... 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 ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... later she kissed the child hastily, and went quietly out of the green gate which had so lately closed upon Jim. She went as unquestioningly as an automaton moved by some irresistible power; not only was all doubt gone from her mind, but all responsibility ...
— The Story Of Julia Page - Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. • Kathleen Norris

... continued to mark the time with the listless apathy of an automaton; the smoke curled from his meerschaum, the drum continued to tap-tap-tap, until it seemed to sound like thunder to my strained ears, for every sense was painfully excited. All count had long been lost, ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

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

... mind. An old habit which had grown on him 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 ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... man, or on moral philosophy generally, it might be difficult, no 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 ourselves in the controversy ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... laugh. It seemed so comical. What a position! The candle shook as she laughed. What a man, answering her like a little automaton! Seriously, quite seriously he said it to her—"We s'll have folks talking!" She laughed in a breathless, hurried way, as they ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... which has a very deadening effect upon character—seeing the same faces, hearing the same things, performing the same routine in the same kind of way every day, year in and year out, makes him a sort of automaton. Kipling has told us something of the effect of this thing in "Soldiers Three." There came a time when I broke under the strain of this man's continued insults. For nearly a year I got comfort from the advice of the brethren. We had a weekly meeting where our difficulties ...
— From the Bottom Up - The Life Story of Alexander Irvine • Alexander Irvine

... Mrs. Doria Forey to Lobourne's curate, as that most enamoured automaton went through his paces ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... and it is tempting to ask, what was the secret of his success? The effort, indeed, to investigate the materials from which some rare literary flavour is extracted is seldom satisfactory. We are reminded of the automaton chess-player who excited the wonder of the last generation. The showman, like the critic, laid bare his inside, and displayed all the cunning wheels and cogs and cranks by which his motions were supposed to be regulated. Yet, ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... 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 to the ...
— Raiders of the Universes • Donald Wandrei

... after his 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

... This colossal 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; ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... seem much like lovers, Rainey fancied. They lacked the little intimacies that he, though he made himself somewhat of an automaton at the wheel, could not have failed to see. If the girl slipped, Carlsen's hand would catch and steady her by the arm; never go about her waist. And there was no especial look of welcome in her face when ...
— A Man to His Mate • J. Allan Dunn

... recording true time only so long as every wheel, spring, and lever performs its allotted duty, and at its allotted time; or till the limit that man's ingenuity has placed to its existence as a moving automaton has been reached, or, in other words, ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... 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, ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... pursuits. He quoted Allan's extravagant account of the clock, and expressed his own anxiety to see it in terms more extravagant still. He paraded his superficial book knowledge of the great clock at Strasbourg, with far-fetched jests on the extraordinary automaton figures which that clock puts in motion—on the procession of the Twelve Apostles, which walks out under the dial at noon, and on the toy cock, which crows at St. Peter's appearance—and this before a man ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... nearly every chair was a barefooted, coatless lout, drunk and snoring with his hat over his eyes, and his legs stretched out, or vacantly staring with open mouth at Desire, who, with a face like ashes and the air of an automaton, was playing ...
— The Duke of Stockbridge • Edward Bellamy

... 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 for ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... it was eleven o'clock. The old German went like an automaton down the road along which Pons and he had so often walked together. Wherever he went he saw Pons, he almost thought that Pons was by his side; and so he reached the theatre just as his friend Topinard was coming out of it after a morning spent in cleaning the lamps ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... 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 ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... Mrs. Sheldon or Charlotte abruptly or ungraciously, upon any consideration. They gave me a home when I most bitterly needed one. They took me away from the dull round of schoolroom drudgery, that was fast changing me into a hard hopeless joyless automaton. My first duty ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... softened to an extent by the French accent, was nevertheless harsh and emotionless. She spoke as an automaton, slowly, and pausing to choose her words. The woman was of medium size, slim and straight in spite of many years. Her skin resembled brown parchment; her eyes were small, black and beady; her nose somewhat fleshy and her ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... a moving automaton than a living creature, did Mrs. Howland arise from her place, and follow her husband up to their chamber. There, without uttering a word, she partially disrobed herself, and getting into bed, buried her tearful face in a pillow. Mr. Howland ...
— The Iron Rule - or, Tyranny in the Household • T. S. Arthur

... outburst of passion of which I have no conception, and I felt as if I saw a new order of being; not a woman, but a personified passion. The vehemence and strength were wonderful. It was in parts very touching. There was as fine an opportunity for Aricia to show some power as for Phedre, but the automaton who represented Aricia had no power to show. Oenon, whom I took to be the sister Sarah, was something of an actress, but her part was so hateful that no one could applaud her. I felt in reading 'Phedre,' ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... seconds as she might with her busy needle, the day was drearily long; and few genuine cuckoo-carols have been listened to with such grateful rejoicing as greeted those metallic gutturals that once in every sixty minutes issued from the throat of the gaudy automaton ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... a local existence, though I am not material,' says a third. 'Are my habitual actions voluntary,' it exclaims, 'however rapid they become; though I am unconscious of these volitions when they have attained a certain rapidity; or do I become a mere automaton as respects such actions? and therefore an automaton nine times out of ten, when I act at all?' To this query two opposite answers are given by different minds; and by others, perhaps wiser, none at all; while, often, opposite answers are given by the same mind at different times. In like ...
— Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts • Henry Rogers

... observed anything unusual, if he considered anything beyond his card-play, no eye could have detected it in that impassive countenance, those cold, expressionless eyes. Apparently he was a mere automaton, the sole symbol of life showing in the white fingers so deftly dealing the fateful pasteboards from the box. The impatient, excited crowd facing him moved restlessly, cursing or laughing with each swift turn of play; but ...
— Beth Norvell - A Romance of the West • Randall Parrish

... it was now conspicuous for its want of "success waves"; it seemed to imply a definite cognizance of personal uselessness. He who had brightened a moment before now spoke like an automaton. Mr. Mackintosh looked at him and his shabby garments. He had a contempt ...
— A Man and His Money • Frederic Stewart Isham

... you, but altogether misleading. Why! the orthodox quote it as much as the others—always a bad sign. It tickles these anthropomorphic fancies, which are at the bottom of all their creeds. Imagine yourself playing at chess, not with an angel, but with an automaton, an admirably constructed automaton whose mechanism can outwit your brains any day: calm and strong, if you like, but no more playing for love than the clock behind me is ticking for love; there you have a much clearer notion of existence. A much clearer notion, and a much more satisfactory notion ...
— Cecilia de Noel • Lanoe Falconer

... know nothing of Lord Lufton, for you say that it is very dangerous for young ladies to know young gentlemen. But I do know enough of him to understand that he ought not to like such a girl as Griselda Grantly. He ought to know that she is a mere automaton, cold, lifeless, spiritless, and even vapid. There is, I believe, nothing in her mentally, whatever may be her moral excellences. To me she is more absolutely like a statue than any other human being I ever saw. To ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... it was accomplished without volition on her part. Her shoulder touched his as lightly as a butterfly touches a flower, and just as lightly was the counter-pressure. She felt his shoulder press hers, and a tremor run through him. Then was the time for her to draw back. But she had become an automaton. Her actions had passed beyond the control of her will—she never thought of control or will in the delicious madness that was upon her. His arm began to steal behind her and around her. She waited its slow progress in a torment of delight. She waited, ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... much from the actual things heard, the actual facts mastered, is the lecture-system valuable to the student, as for the method of study which he derives from it. He is no longer like an automaton, a school-boy guided by his teacher and text-book, but is spoken to as an independent thinker. Authorities are quoted, which he may consult at his leisure. No subject is exhausted,—it is only touched upon. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... 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 and blackbirds: dead weeds or man-erected posts serving in ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... type of a class of men common in all times. We have seen Nicodemus very often. He is a good man whose goodness has no life in it. His goodness is a sort of an automaton—all machinery and no soul. He is so thoroughly right in all he does; everything about him is so proper; he is so perfectly en regle in his own eyes,—that we sometimes wish that he might be betrayed into some ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... a man 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; at last he put ...
— How to Enjoy Paris in 1842 • F. Herve

... both his hands now meeting as if for a little friendly chat about something small, and then suddenly starting asunder as if in astonished anger, with a portentous hiss, you might have taken him for an automaton moved by springs, and imitating human actions in a very wonderful manner—so regular and machine-like were his motions, and so little did he seem to think about what he was at. A little passing attention, a hint now and then from his head, was sufficient to keep his hands right, ...
— Gutta-Percha Willie • George MacDonald

... 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

... never woke up with any such feeling when with the United Woollen. My only thought in the morning then was how much time I must give myself to catch the six-thirty. When I reached the office I hung up my hat and coat and sat down to the impersonal figures like an automaton. There was nothing of me in the work; there couldn't be. How petty it seemed now! I suppose the company, as an industrial enterprise, was in the line of development, but that idea never penetrated as far as the clerical department. We didn't feel ...
— One Way Out - A Middle-class New-Englander Emigrates to America • William Carleton

... planned for the purpose of obtaining the two hundred thousand francs was forgotten; his volubility was gone; and he silently walked along by his brother's side, like an automaton, totally incapable of thinking or ...
— File No. 113 • Emile Gaboriau

... agents, when all the external circumstances that affect us, and all our mental and bodily acts, are predetermined and brought about by God. Man is thus reduced to, a mere passive instrument. He is nothing more than a complicate and curious machine—a man-machine, an automaton—whose every movement is conceived, determined, directed, controlled by a supervisor. It avails nothing to apply to him terms which signify freedom. We may say that he has the power to will; that he actually wills; but the difficulty is not relieved. The being who endowed him with this faculty ...
— The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted • Francis Hodgson

... automaton he turned again and paced to the hall door. Here, too, he found what he had expected. There was no hall, no familiar hat ...
— The Street That Wasn't There • Clifford Donald Simak

... reluctantly, as though still afraid. Then suddenly the banker's hoarse voice rang out through the room. All the time he had been sitting like an automaton. Now he was on his feet, swaying backward and forward, his eyes ...
— An Amiable Charlatan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... 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

... a little, and insisted on going onward. This time she walked for some distance. She did this with a stolid, heavy step, and mechanically, like an automaton moved by machinery. Then ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... leaving the window still open, she heard the cries of agony, which resounded in the little court in the stillness of the night. In less than five minutes she was standing by Mrs. Barton's bedside, relieving the terrified Mary, who went about where she was told like an automaton; her eyes tearless, her face calm, though deadly pale, and uttering no sound, except when her teeth chattered for ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... bold, fearless. aullar howl. aullido m. howl, cry of horror. aumentar increase, enlarge, magnify. an, aun adv. yet, still, even, nevertheless. aunque conj. although. aura f. breeze, zephyr. aurora f. dawn, break of day, aurora. ausencia f. absence. autmata m. automaton, mere machine, puppet. avanzar advance, go forward. avariento, -a avaricious. avaro, -a avaricious, covetous. avaro m. miser. ave f. bird. aventura f. adventure, affair. avergonzarse de be ashamed of, blush for. vido, -a eager, ...
— El Estudiante de Salamanca and Other Selections • George Tyler Northup

... on, when they serve merely to strengthen both them and himself; while the book-philosopher starts from the authorities and other people's opinions, therefrom constructing a whole for himself; so that he resembles an automaton, whose composition we do not understand. The other man, the man who thinks for himself, on the other hand, is like a living man as made by nature. His mind is impregnated from without, which then bears and brings forth its child. Truth that has been merely learned adheres to us like ...
— Essays of Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... then 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

... American side I find a very pretty town, with all the comforts of civilisation, a scene of hard-working activity. On the Canadian shore I see a village of poor cottages, surrounded with apple orchards, like a village in Normandy, in front of which the red sentry marches up and down, as stiff as an automaton. The inhabitants of the said village, French both in feature and appearance, hurried up in delight when they heard us speaking the language of their forefathers. "It's the only tongue we know. We don't ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... garden. Noon had crept upon it, devouring all shadow. Her eyes saw little but the golden blur. A fusuma opened softly, and two women, Mata and the attendant seamstress, came mincing and smirking toward her, each with an armful of white silk. Ume rose like an automaton. They began her toilet, talking the while in low voices. They robed her in white with a thin lining-edge of crimson, and threw over her shining hair a veil of tissue. Some one outside called that the bride's kuruma was at the gate. Old Kano entered ...
— The Dragon Painter • Mary McNeil Fenollosa

... the table like a protecting spirit, letting her want for nothing that thoughtfulness could procure. And he noticed that Daisy seemed as oblivious of this as she had always been. She accepted these extraordinary attentions quite as if Hannibal were some automaton, acting with a set of concealed springs—a mechanism in which there was nothing of ...
— A Black Adonis • Linn Boyd Porter

... the sticks on which they had been draped. When Mr. Lavender saw this he called out in a loud voice Sir, you have deceived me. I took you for a human being. I now perceive that you are but a selfish automaton, rooted to your own business, without a particle of ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... well-brewed to a visible haze. There was deep stillness, broken only by a light rattle, a light chink, a small sweeping sound, and an occasional monotone in French, such as might be expected to issue from an ingeniously constructed automaton. Round two long tables were gathered two serried crowds of human beings, all save one having their faces and attention bent on the tables. The one exception was a melancholy little boy, with his ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... or disparage the possession of the virtue of obedience; but, on the other hand, no such thoughtful person will attempt to deny that this virtue, desirable as it is, may be fostered and emphasized to such a degree that its possessor will become a mere automaton. And this is bad; indeed, very bad. We extol obedience, to be sure, but not the sort of blind, unthinking obedience that will reduce its possessor to the status of the mechanical toy which needs only to be wound ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... the form that they have in the language from which they are taken; as, focus, foci; terminus, termini; alumnus, alumni; datum, data; stratum, strata; formula, formuloe; vortex, vortices; appendix, appendices; crisis, crises; oasis, oases; axis, axes; phenomenon, phenomena; automaton, automata; analysis, analyses; hypothesis, hypotheses; medium, media; vertebra, vertebroe; ellipsis, ellipses; genus, genera; fungus, fungi; ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... local company, and constructed dozens of miles of new line, and electrified everything, and raised prices, and abolished season tickets, and quickened services, and built hundreds of cars and engaged hundreds of conductors—since then a tram-conductor had been naught but an unhuman automaton in a vast machine-like organization. And passengers no ...
— The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories • Arnold Bennett

... say no more about the nunnery. But would not you, as a good mother, consent to have your daughter turned into an automaton for eight hours in every day for fifteen years, for the promise of hearing her, at the end of that time, pronounced the first private performer at the most fashionable and most ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... More automaton than sentient being, he plodded on along the second enceinte of flaring, noisy boulevards, now and again narrowly escaping annihilation beneath the wheels of some coursing motor-cab ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... cynicism for wit, I noticed two or three new faces: a very obsequious Pole who was on a visit in the town; a German doctor, a sturdy old fellow who kept loudly laughing with great zest at his own wit; and lastly, a very young princeling from Petersburg like an automaton figure, with the deportment of a state dignitary and a fearfully high collar. But it was evident that Yulia Mihailovna had a very high opinion of this visitor, and was even a little anxious of the impression her salon ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... sight of him, and the trooper saluted like an automaton, since nothing save obedience was any ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... had wrinkled his cheek, had turned his brown hair to a crisp grey, had bowed his shoulders to the desk he had used for twenty-two years. His eyes alone retained their boyish brightness, and a sort of appealing look as of one who his whole life long had been a dependent on other people. As an automaton, a mere cog in a vast machine, he had won the praise of his superiors by his complete self-effacement. He was never ill, never absent, never had trouble with his subordinates, never talked back, never made complaints, and, in ...
— Love, The Fiddler • Lloyd Osbourne

... with an automaton. Such a man is like a machine,—a spring. Weight carries him away, making him move and turn forever in the same direction, and with equal motion. He is uniform, and never changes. Once seen, he appears the same at all times and periods of life. At best, he is but the ox lowing, or the ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... foliage, and the naked or half-dressed occupants stared stupidly at the craft as it skimmed past. The head of the family lolled on the bank, or in the shade beside his home and smoked; the stolid wife slouched hither and thither like an automaton, plodding at her work or perhaps scratching the ground, that it might laugh a harvest, though oftener her work lay in fighting off the prodigious growth which threatened to strangle everybody and everything. She took her turn at smoking, while the youngsters, most of ...
— Up the Forked River - Or, Adventures in South America • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... an idealism inspired by a belief that the spirit was capable of generating an impulse which would overcome the flesh and which could cause men to move toward perfection along any other path than the least resistant. And this because man is an automaton, and can move no otherwise. In this point of view nothing can be more instructive than to compare the Roman with the Mosaic civilization, for the Romans were a sternly practical people and worshipped force ...
— The Emancipation of Massachusetts • Brooks Adams

... Mantua. Bonaparte was much weaker, having only forty-two thousand, and of these some eight thousand were occupied in the siege of that place. Wurmser was a master of the old school, working like an automaton under the hand of his government, and commanding according to well-worn precept his well-equipped battalions, every soldier of which was a recruit so costly that destructive battles were made as infrequent as possible, ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... a regular automaton—he has acquired the valuable accomplishment of pulling the punkah-string back and forth in his sleep; he keeps it up some time after I have quitted the room in the morning, until a comrade comes ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle Volume II. - From Teheran To Yokohama • Thomas Stevens

... smile of deprecation, beckoning a little with his head and with his eyes, begging her for private conversation. She lifted Katharine roughly to her feet and followed him to a distant window. She seemed as if she were an automaton without will or independent motions of her own, so small were her steps and her feet so hidden beneath her stiff black skirts. He began talking to her in a voice of which only the persuasive higher notes came ...
— The Fifth Queen • Ford Madox Ford

... he could not speak, she hastened to make him a cup of tea; and, stooping down, took off his wet boots, and helped him off with his coat, and brought her own plaid to wrap round him. All this time her heart sunk lower and lower. He allowed her to do what she liked, as if he were an automaton; his head and his arms hung loosely down, and his eyes were fixed, in a glaring way, on the fire. When she brought him some tea, he spoke for the first time; she could not hear what he said till he repeated it, so ...
— The Moorland Cottage • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... but an automaton, a machine that works by the command of a good, bad, or indifferent engineer, and is presumed to know nothing of all these great events. His business is to load and shoot, stand picket, videt, etc., while the officers ...
— "Co. Aytch" - Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment - or, A Side Show of the Big Show • Sam R. Watkins

... he said, bitterly. "I'm not a machine, or an automaton, and I want something more than my servants, my drawing-room and table well attended, to ...
— Eventide - A Series of Tales and Poems • Effie Afton

... of the 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 state of development—a skilful navigator on life's river, who did not sail with ...
— Plays by August Strindberg, Second series • August Strindberg

... any of those great effects, those regular phenomena, from which emanates what he styles the order of the Universe. ANAXAGORAS is said to have been the first who supposed the universe created and governed by an intelligence: ARISTOTLE reproaches him with having made an automaton of this intelligence; or in other words, with ascribing to it the production of things, only when he was at a loss to account for their appearance. From whence it may be deduced, that it is for want of being acquainted with the powers of Nature, or the properties of matter, ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... guided in voting by his technical knowledge, and it is almost impossible that the choice should fall upon any but the best qualified persons. But, further, this simple spinner in Freeland is no mere automaton, whose knowledge and skill begin and end with the petty details of his own business: he is familiar with at least one or several other branches of industry; and from this again it follows that the man can take advantage of any favourable circumstance that may occur in such other ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... have noticed them, since of the three, the latter appears to be the most important, (at least) in his consideration; for he takes care before the commencement of the performance to place one of his automaton figures on the second row of every box, which commands a good view of the House, who are merely intended to sit with their hats off, and to signify that the two first seats are taken, till the conclusion of the second act; and so in ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... touch of the executioner the prisoner had trembled; he rose, like an automaton, with dilated eyes and twitching face. He understood what the chaplain said and took a ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... the glaring footlights caused to assume an even more 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, and, like a dying gladiator, ...
— Great Violinists And Pianists • George T. Ferris

... taken Masten's heaviest punches without sign or sound to indicate that they had landed, always crowding forward, carrying the battle to his adversary, refusing to yield a step when to yield meant to evade punishment. Passion, deep and gripping, had made him for the moment an insensate automaton; he was devoid of any feeling except a consuming desire to punish the despoiler ...
— The Range Boss • Charles Alden Seltzer

... 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 we saw that our tellers were on the right in ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... The automaton chess-player and other pieces of mechanism exhibited by Monsieur Maelzel were very popular at Washington. The chess- player was the figure of a Turk of the natural size, sitting behind a chest three feet and a-half in height, to which was attached the wooden seat on which the figure ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... the large dark eyes bore an expression of such hopelessness, such unyouthful gravity, that the whole face seemed gloomed over, as when a heavy cloud shuts out the brilliant sunshine of an August day. He did not deign so much as a glance towards the visitors, but like an automaton blew the graceful bulb, shaped it upon his marver, with a light, skilful blow detached it from his blowing-iron, received from his assistant the foot and joined the two, with a dextrous twist and turn shaped the slender handle and added that, all the time keeping his "divining-rod" ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... 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 when she took the high horse. As ...
— The Lady of the Basement Flat • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... while the Emperor Mu of the Chou dynasty was making a tour of his empire, a skillful mechanic, Yen Shih by name, was brought into his presence and entertained him and the women of his seraglio with a dance performed by automaton figures, which were capable not only of rhythmical movements of their limbs, but of accompanying ...
— The Chinese Boy and Girl • Isaac Taylor Headland

... cannot, will not, deem thee a deceiving, Illusive mockery of human feeling, A body organized, by fond caress Warmed into seeming tenderness; A mere automaton, on which our love Plays, as on puppets, when their wires we move. No! when that feeling quits thy glazing eye, 'Twill live in some blest ...
— The Human Side of Animals • Royal Dixon

... regard my inner self in the mirror of consciousness. No mental analysis now; no long hours of retrospection, no tete-a-tete interviews with my soul. At times I felt as if I had lost my identity. I was a slave of the genie Gold, releasing it from its prison in the frozen bowels of the earth. I was an automaton turning a crank in the frozen stillness ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... works, what they are inwardly is here meant, and not the way they outwardly appear; for everyone knows that every deed and work goes forth from the man's will and thought; otherwise it would be nothing but a movement like that of an automaton or image. Consequently, a deed or work viewed in itself is merely an effect that derives its soul and life from will and thought, even to the extent that it is nothing but will and thought in effect, and thus is will and thought in outward ...
— Heaven and its Wonders and Hell • Emanuel Swedenborg

... him sweetly. For though I babble to myself you have no existence, though I smile at the thought of caressing a phantom, my senses derive a mysterious pleasure from this contact with nothingness. Curious ... curious ... come closer, Rita. Now smile at me. Yes, your lips move. You are an automaton born of my words. Give me your hand. It is warm and trembling. Ah, my phantom is in love with me. But that love, too, is an illusion I create. No, do not come too close. Let me grow accustomed first to my madness. You are happy, eh? How marvelous your eyes! They were beautiful before ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... use it he probably runs his head against a blank wall of ignorance; for hypnotism, to most people, means a dangerous power by which an unscrupulous, strong-willed Svengali dominates an abnormally weak-willed Trilby whose will continues to grow weaker until the subject becomes a mere automaton; and most of us would rightly prefer that a boy should be his own master—even if he were rushing to headlong ruin—than that he should be the mere puppet of the most saintly man living. The human will is ...
— Youth and Sex • Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly

... nothing spiritual in the song of the chaffinch. There he sits within sight, motionless, a little bird-shaped automaton, made to go off at intervals of twelve or thirteen seconds; but unfortunately one hears with the song the whirr and buzz of the internal machinery. It is not now as in April, when it is sufficient in a song ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... tends to be, the most mechanical of physical exercises. The actor is often a mere automaton who repeats night after night the same unimpressive trick of voice, eye, and gesture. His defects of understanding may be comparatively unobtrusive in a spectacular display, where he is liable to escape censure by escaping observation, or at best to be ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... the subordinate must see no sign of fooling in his countenance. He said a sharp word to a blue-jacket, who nimbly sprang to the end of the settee, raised his hand in salute, and stiffened himself to an automaton. Then the girls saw the tall figure of the Lieutenant wending its way to the spot where ...
— A Rock in the Baltic • Robert Barr

... 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 Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... manhood? Steam machinery is slowly taking out of his hands even this fragment of intelligent work, and he is set at feeding and watching the great machine which has been endowed with the brains that once were in the human toiler. Man is reduced to being the tender upon a steel automaton which thinks and plans and combines with marvelous power, leaving him only the task of supplying it with the raw material, and ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... the words of the abbess? Were they the mere ravings of delirium, or had they signification? If Rita was false, then indeed was there no truth upon earth. Confused, bewildered, tortured by the ideas that crowded upon his heated brain, Herrera sat like an automaton upon his horse, unmindful of where he was, and utterly forgetting the dangers that surrounded him. He was roused by the Mochuelo ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... or four times, like an automaton. Burr, affecting to dismiss the topic, turned again to the book-shelves and fell to reading the gilded titles. A copy of "The Prince" arrested his eye. Taking this down, he opened it at random, and read aloud: "Men will always prove bad, unless ...
— A Dream of Empire - Or, The House of Blennerhassett • William Henry Venable

... followed: days of a thousand engagements, a thousand interviews, a thousand journeyings, a thousand speeches; days in which he was reduced to an unresisting automaton, mechanically uttering the same formulas; days in which the irresistible force of the campaign swept him along without volition. And day followed day and not a sign came from the Princess Zobraska either of condonation or resentment. It was as though she had gathered her ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... thing the artisans worked upon him to create—when at last his father passed from view and he remained master of Bonbright Foote, Incorporated, it would not be Bonbright Foote VII who was master. It would be an automaton, a continuation of other automatons.... It is said the Dalai Lama is perpetual, always the same, never changing from age to age. A fiction maintained by a mystic priesthood supplying themselves secretly with fresh Dalai Lama material as needful—with a symbol to hold in awe ...
— Youth Challenges • Clarence B Kelland

... speaking together: "Why, 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

... sign of the cross over him, give him your blessing, kiss him," Nina cried to her. But her head still twitched like an automaton and with a face contorted with bitter grief she began, without a word, beating her breast with her fist. They carried the coffin past her. Nina pressed her lips to her brother's for the last time as they ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... able to state positively, since I have it from his own lips, that he was born in Utica, in the State of New York, although both his parents, I believe, are of Presburg descent. The family is connected, in some way, with Maelzel, of Automaton-chess-player memory. In person, he is short and stout, with large, fat, blue eyes, sandy hair and whiskers, a wide but pleasing mouth, fine teeth, and I think a Roman nose. There is some defect in one of his feet. His address is frank, and his whole manner ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... remarked that for some days past, there comes regularly almost every two hours a man with great light mustaches and a military air, who asks the porter for the intruder? The intruder comes down, talks for a moment with the man with mustaches, after which the latter makes a half turn like an automaton, to come again in ...
— Mysteries of Paris, V3 • Eugene Sue

... hands the mason's trowel would assuredly have been better adapted than the painter's pencil. It was the very dotage of incapacity. The colouring, the treatment, the coarse obtrusive mechanical touch, seemed those of a clumsily constructed automaton, rather than of a human painter. Thus musing, our artist stood for some time before the vile daubs that excited his disgust, gazing at them long after the train of his reflections had led him far from ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... 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 ...
— Applied Psychology: Making Your Own World • Warren Hilton

... is nothing more than an automaton, that has been manufactured by Spalanzani and his friend, the wizard Coppelius. This doll can sing, dance and speak like a human being. Spalanzani hopes to become rich by means of this clever work ...
— The Standard Operaglass - Detailed Plots of One Hundred and Fifty-one Celebrated Operas • Charles Annesley

... 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 ...
— The Man With The Broken Ear • Edmond About

... yet brought to perfection; and like those animals which change their state, some parts of the old narrative still adhered. It still had a chorus, it still had a prologue to explain the design; and the perfect drama, an automaton supported and moved without any foreign help, was formed late and gradually. Nay, there are still several parts of the world in which it is not, and probably never may be, ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... for herself," she declared. "She shouldn't become a mere automaton,—and these questions involve so much! People are discussing them, the magazines and periodicals are beginning to ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... low grade of intelligence. Much larger than the brain proper was the spinal cord, especially in the region of the sacrum, controlling most of the reflex and involuntary actions of the huge organism. Hence we can best regard the Brontosaurus as a great, slow-moving animal automaton, a vast storehouse of organized matter directed chiefly or solely by instinct, and to a very limited degree, if at all, by conscious intelligence. Its huge size and its imperfect organization, compared with the great quadrupeds of today, rendered its movements slow and clumsy; ...
— Dinosaurs - With Special Reference to the American Museum Collections • William Diller Matthew

... direction, and executed by these youths. He always made a point of choosing men who were highly strung and impressionable. He was known to boast that after three interviews with him he could make anyone, either man or woman, into a will-less automaton. ...
— The Hippodrome • Rachel Hayward

... mistaken; that God, the eternal master of all nature, does everything in me, and directs all my actions and all my thoughts; that if I produced my thoughts, I should know the thought I will have in a minute; that I never know it; that I am only an automaton with sensations and ideas, necessarily dependent, and in the hands of the Supreme Being, infinitely more compliant to Him than clay ...
— Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary • Voltaire

... beside the motorman, explaining that she always enjoyed the unobstructed view ahead. He handed her up, pleased to think that they were still to be for some time practically alone. At their backs a glass partition shut off the rest of the car; the motorman himself seemed a mere automaton, with ears for nothing but the bell, and eyes for nothing but the gleaming track ahead. Leigh suspected that a wish to avoid a possible recognition from some passenger had influenced her in taking this seat, and he dared ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... and of the modifying faculties; 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 to his habitual feelings, and at length gave birth to that stupendous power, ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... a man of a most scientific imagination, assigned the role of hero in his story to a marvellous automaton. Unfortunately for him he was not content with generalities, but described the process by which this artificial superman was produced in such minute detail that his publishers realised that it might be positively prejudicial to our safety to make it known. The sequel ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, February 16, 1916 • Various

... 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 enacted before ...
— Ungava Bob - A Winter's Tale • Dillon Wallace

... hat. Noise 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 it as ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... of all power of grasping anything and transformed him into a senseless automaton, wholly absorbed in a ...
— Creatures That Once Were Men • Maxim Gorky

... mechanically, after the manner of an automaton, and they went out, creating no small sensation among the good people of Sauveterre, when they appeared ...
— Within an Inch of His Life • Emile Gaboriau

... the 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 of the slightest mental originality, he is peculiarly ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... strictly to business during his brief interviews with his 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 ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... mile more as an automaton than as a living, conscious human being. He had no memory of time, place, events—save for the instants of rationality he ...
— The Ramblin' Kid • Earl Wayland Bowman

... grandeur, although they did not like anybody else to do so. With his own hands the king would help West to place his pictures in position on the easel. The queen—plain, snuff-taking, her face painted like a mask, and her eyes rolling like an automaton, as eyewitnesses have described her later in life—called on Mrs. Garrick one day at Hampton Court, and found the widow of the Roscius very busy peeling onions for pickling. 'The queen, however, would not suffer her to stir, but commanded a knife to be ...
— Art in England - Notes and Studies • Dutton Cook

... by new laborers of the employments where they are most needed, and there is often little in a transfer of a person who has tended a machine of one kind to a machine of a different kind. Instances there still are of manual skill brought to naught by the invention of a mechanical automaton that does the work more rapidly and accurately than the hand of man can do it; and the worker who possesses this skill must usually, in such cases, content himself with an employment where his more general aptitudes may stand him in ...
— Essentials of Economic Theory - As Applied to Modern Problems of Industry and Public Policy • John Bates Clark

... a share of Jack's most gracious intentions, and though he was as silent as an automaton playing a game of chess, a slight crack was visible in the veneer of his face when Jack thanked him for having brought Mr. Grayson—same reverential pronunciation—upstairs himself instead of allowing Frederick or one of the maid-servants to ...
— Peter - A Novel of Which He is Not the Hero • F. Hopkinson Smith

... creaking of machinery behind, and some of the young ones turned their heads. From the interior face of the west wall of the tower projected a little canopy with a quarter-jack and small bell beneath it, the automaton being driven by the same clock machinery that struck the large bell in the tower. Between the tower and the church was a close screen, the door of which was kept shut during services, hiding this grotesque clockwork from sight. At present, however, the door was open, and the ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy



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



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