Use the noun transformer when you're talking about a device that conducts electricity and controls the voltage that can travel between one circuit and another.

Electricians are familiar with transformers, since they are commonly used to manage the voltage of electricity that powers houses and some businesses. Sometimes you can see a transformer attached to a utility pole on a residential street. The word transformer was coined in 1883 from the French transformateur, which in turn comes from the Latin transformare, "change the shape or form of." The prefix trans, or "across or beyond," gives a clue to this meaning.

Definitions of transformer

n an electrical device by which alternating current of one voltage is changed to another voltage

show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
a transformer that supplies high voltage to spark plugs in a gasoline engine
step-down transformer
a transformer that reduces voltage
step-up transformer
a transformer that increases voltage
Tesla coil
a step-up transformer with an air core; used to produce high voltages at high frequencies
voltage regulator
a transformer whose voltage ratio of transformation can be adjusted
cascade transformer
a number of transformers in series; provides a high-voltage source
Type of:
electrical device
a device that produces or is powered by electricity

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.