Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
An electric generator that produces alternating current.
(Electrical Engineering) an electrical machine that generates an alternating current
al•ter•na•tor(ˈɔl tərˌneɪ tər, ˈæl-)
a generator of alternating current.
An electric generator that produces alternating current. The current reverses direction, back and forth, because the generator's coiled wire rotates rapidly within the magnetic field created by its two magnets, causing the charge of the wire to change from positive to negative, depending on which magnetic pole it is closest to.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||alternator - an old term for an electric generator that produces alternating current (especially in automobiles)|
auto, automobile, car, motorcar, machine - a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine; "he needs a car to get to work"
electrical system - equipment in a motor vehicle that provides electricity to start the engine and ignite the fuel and operate the lights and windshield wiper and heater and air conditioner and radio
generator - engine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by electromagnetic induction