For context, my intention is to imply a character is stiffly-moving, like a machine. A couple of examples I’ve used are “Oscillate” (rather than sway back and forth), “Rotate” (as opposed to turn),”Gyrate” (as opposed to circled), “Extend” or even as a stretch, “Telescope”.

Any additional examples would be helpful even if the associations with machines are tenuous at best.

  • 3
    The Stack Exchange format isn't suited to producing lists of things and list requests are therefore regarded as off-topic. Nov 5 at 23:27
  • Ah Sorry about that
    – MjK
    Nov 5 at 23:28
  • Crank . . . . .
    – Xanne
    Nov 6 at 3:59
  • Not sure about your examples - half of Merriam-Webster's examples for oscillate are people; extend has people, horses, and nations, inter alia; for rotate they include rotating a job, rotating crops, geometry, and other vaguer things but nothing mechanical (although I'd imagine it's often used of machine parts); and perhaps the most common non-technical use of gyrate is for dancers. Very subjective, though.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 6 at 14:47
  • @StuartF Presumably the context will preclude those senses.
    – Barmar
    Nov 6 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


The adverb robotically can be used to modify action verbs to indicate that it's done like a mechanical device. From M-W

2 : having the characteristics of a robot

  • Hi Barmar thanks for the suggestion!, however, I personally thought it best to avoid adverbs like these and rely on the verb’s themselves to be, in a sense, self descriptive. I’m new here so if you disagree I’m happy to hear your thoughts.
    – MjK
    Nov 9 at 0:39

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