- having the capability of starting, operating, moving, etc., independently: an automatic sprinkler system; an automatic car wash.
- Physiology. occurring independently of volition, as certain muscular actions; involuntary.
- done unconsciously or from force of habit; mechanical: an automatic application of the brakes.
- occurring spontaneously: automatic enthusiasm.
- (of a firearm, pistol, etc.) utilizing the recoil or part of the force of the explosive to eject the spent cartridge shell, introduce a new cartridge, cock the arm, and fire it repeatedly.
- on automatic, being operated or controlled by or as if by an automatic device.
Origin of automatic
Examples from the Web for automatic
Hovering above the scene, commandos in helicopters were poised with automatic rifles.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
The low crunch of packed dirt against rubber tire was overwhelmed by the ragged explosions of automatic gunfire.A Belgian Prince, Gorillas, Guerrillas & the Future of the Congo
November 6, 2014
Instead we heard the crackle of automatic gunfire and we could see gray smoke rising from the eastern side of the town.In the Battle for Kobani, ISIS Falls Back. But for How Long?
October 20, 2014
He now stands in the self-proclaimed caliphate, also holding a child as well as an automatic weapon.ISIS Has a Bigger Coalition Than We Do
October 15, 2014
A little girl was given an automatic weapon to play with this week.9-Year Old With an Uzi? America Is Tougher on Toys Than Guns
August 28, 2014
Wheatstone was knighted in 1868, after his completion of the automatic telegraph.Heroes of the Telegraph
At last, with a shake of the head, we consented to get into the automatic carriage.Freeland
Hilary's hand went to the butt of the automatic within his blouse.
He stopped, whirled, automatic thrusting its blue nose forward.
The automatic dropped from his hand, and he crimped up like a stuck grubworm.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
- performed from force of habit or without conscious thought; lacking spontaneity; mechanicalan automatic smile
- (of a device, mechanism, etc) able to activate, move, or regulate itself
- (of an act or process) performed by such automatic equipment
- (of the action of a muscle, gland, etc) involuntary or reflex
- occurring as a necessary consequencepromotion is automatic after a year
- (of a firearm)
- an automatic firearm
- a motor vehicle having automatic transmission
- a machine that operates automatically
Word Origin and History for automatic
"self-acting, moving or acting on its own," 1812, from Greek automatos, used of the gates of Olympus and the tripods of Hephaestus (also "without apparent cause, by accident"), from autos "self" (see auto-) + matos "thinking, animated" (see automaton). Of involuntary animal or human actions, from 1748, first used in this sense by English physician and philosopher David Hartley (1705-1757). In reference to a type of firearm, from 1877; specifically of machinery that imitates human-directed action from 1940.
"automatic weapon," 1902, from automatic (adj.). Meaning "motorized vehicle with automatic transmission" is from 1949.