From International Dictionary of Marine Aids to Navigation
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An assembly of conducting elements that are fixed around a shaft as a ring, and are insulated from one another, such that a brush can make electrical contact with each element in turn as the shaft rotates. It provides a means of regularly reversing the polarity of a current.

Please note that this is the term as it stands in the original IALA Dictionary edition (1970-1989)

International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities - AISM