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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.