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ra·di·a·tor / ˈrādēˌātər/ • n. 1. a thing that radiates or emits light, heat, or sound. ∎  a device for heating a room consisting of a metal case connected by pipes through which hot water is pumped by a central heating system. ∎  a portable heater resembling such a device.2. an engine-cooling device in a motor vehicle or aircraft consisting of a bank of thin tubes in which circulating fluid is cooled by the surrounding air.