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[aw-tuh-muh-beel, aw-tuh-muh-beel, aw-tuh-moh-beel, -buh l] /ˌɔ tə məˈbil, ˈɔ tə məˌbil, ˌɔ təˈmoʊ bil, -bəl/
a passenger vehicle designed for operation on ordinary roads and typically having four wheels and a gasoline or diesel internal-combustion engine.
See also hybrid (def 5b).
of or relating to automobiles; automotive.
Origin of automobile
1865-70; < French: literally, self-movable (vehicle). See auto-1, mobile
Related forms
[aw-tuh-muh-bee-list, -moh-bi-list] /ˌɔ tə məˈbi lɪst, -ˈmoʊ bɪ lɪst/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for automobile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then all climbed into the automobile which was to take them to the railroad station.

  • He called to Henderson and asked him to have the automobile sent to the quarter house.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • The automobile reached the crest of the hill, skidded and started toward the ditch.

    Phantom of the Forest Lee Francis
  • The automobile, with Henderson at the wheel, was at the door before dawn.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • So, with heart bounding joyously, he climbed in wid dee compny in the automobile.

    Little Washington's Relatives Lillian Elizabeth Roy
British Dictionary definitions for automobile


another word (esp US) for car (sense 1)
Derived Forms
automobilist (ˌɔːtəməˈbiːlɪst; -ˈməʊbɪlɪst) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for automobile

1883, in reference to electric traction cars, from French automobile (adj.), 1861, a hybrid from Greek autos "self" (see auto-) + French mobile "moving," from Latin mobilis "movable" (see mobile (adj.)).


"self-propelled motor vehicle," 1895, from French automobile, short for véhicule automobile (see automobile (adj.)). The modern Greek calls it autokineto "moved of itself." The French word had competition in the early years from locomobile; in English other early forms were motorcar and autocar.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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