General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun any device that receives and reacts to a signal, such as a change in voltage, temperature or pressure


  • noun an electronic device which produces an output dependent upon the condition or physical state of a process


  • A device designed to detect an abnormal ambient condition, such as smoke or high temperature, and to sound an alarm or operate a device.


  • A component, circuit, device, instrument, piece of equipment, system, material, or mechanism which serves to sense (1), and respond. A sensor may, for instance, detect a given value, or any change in values. There are many examples, including acoustic, pressure, contact, force, motion, proximity, position, light, optical, radiation, infrared, ultraviolet, radio frequency, magnetic, photoelectric, and time sensors. Most sensors convert a non-electrical phenomenon into a proportional electrical equivalent, and nearly all transducers are sensors of some kind. A sensor may provide an analog or digital output, the latter being used, for instance, for computer applications. Contact sensors detect objects and phenomena through physical contact with an object or medium, while non-contact sensors have no such contact.
  • synonymsensing element
  • A probe or other part or section of a sensor (1), which samples or otherwise detects. Also called sensor (2).


  • noun a device which is designed to detect something (such as chemical agent, movement, radiation, etc.)