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semiautomatic

[sem-ee-aw-tuh-mat-ik, sem-ahy-]
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adjective
  1. partly automatic.
  2. (of a firearm) automatically ejecting the cartridge case of a fired shot and loading the next cartridge from the magazine but requiring a squeeze of the trigger to fire each individual shot.
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noun
  1. a self-loading rifle or other firearm.
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Origin of semiautomatic

First recorded in 1890–95; semi- + automatic
Related formssem·i·au·to·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for semi-automatic

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For work which is automatic or semi-automatic, boys or girls may be employed.

  • Then try to play the two hands together in a sort of semi-automatic way.

    Piano Playing

    Josef Hofmann

  • They occupy a semi-automatic middle ground between conscious and subconscious activities.

    The Trained Memory

    Warren Hilton

  • The vast McCormick City has its human side, too, in spite of all its noise and semi-automatic machinery.

    Cyrus Hall McCormick

    Herbert Newton Casson

  • Glass is blown by three methods: hand-blowing, semi-automatic blowing, and automatic blowing.


British Dictionary definitions for semi-automatic

semiautomatic

adjective
  1. partly automatic
  2. (of a firearm) self-loading but firing only one shot at each pull of the triggerCompare automatic (def. 5)
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noun
  1. a semiautomatic firearm
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Derived Formssemiautomatically, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for semi-automatic

adj.

1853, from semi- + automatic (adj.). In reference to firearms, 1889.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper