au·tom·a·ton [aw-tom-uh-ton, -tn]
plural automatons, automata [aw-tom-uh-tuh]
1. a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power.
origin of automaton: 1605-15; < Latin: automatic device < Greek, noun use of neuter of autómatos spontaneous, acting without human agency, equivalent to auto- auto-1+ -matos, adj. derivative from base of memonénai to intend, ménos might, force