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1. A cylindrical arrangement of insulated metal bars connected to the coils of a direct-current electric motor or generator, providing a unidirectional current from the generator or a reversal of current into the coils of the motor.
2. Mathematics In a commutative or noncommutative group, an element of the form ghg-1h-1 where g and h are elements of the group. If g and h commute, the commutator is the identity element.


1. (Electronics) a device used to reverse the direction of flow of an electric current
2. (Electrical Engineering) the segmented metal cylinder or disc mounted on the armature shaft of an electric motor, generator, etc, used to make electrical contact with the rotating coils and ensure unidirectional current flow


(ˈkɒm yəˌteɪ tər)

a. a device for reversing the direction of a current.
b. (in a DC motor or generator) a ring or disk assembly that works to change the frequency or direction of current in the armature windings.
2. Math. the element equal to the product of two given elements in a group multiplied on the right by the product of the inverses of the elements.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.commutator - switch for reversing the direction of an electric currentcommutator - switch for reversing the direction of an electric current
electric switch, electrical switch, switch - control consisting of a mechanical or electrical or electronic device for making or breaking or changing the connections in a circuit
References in periodicals archive ?
of Palermo, Italy) constructs the Hamiltonian H of the classical system S that can satisfy the canonical commutation relation (CCR) or the anti-commutation relation (CAR), and applies the framework to love affairs, competition between species, levels of welfare for bacteria, and stock markets.
t) are independent, and in turn, satisfy to the Bose commutation relation [MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
Commutation Relations, Normal Ordering, and Stirling Numbers
n] satisfying Poisson brackets or as a quantum system with the generators of the Lie algebra sl (2) and commutation relations