View synonyms for automatic


[ aw-tuh-mat-ik ]


  1. having the capability of starting, operating, moving, etc., independently:

    an automatic sprinkler system; an automatic car wash.

  2. Physiology. occurring independently of volition, as certain muscular actions; involuntary.
  3. done unconsciously or from force of habit; mechanical:

    an automatic application of the brakes.

  4. occurring spontaneously:

    automatic enthusiasm.

  5. (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.


  1. a machine that operates automatically.
  2. Football. audible ( def 2 ).
  3. an automobile equipped with automatic transmission.


/ ˌɔːtəˈmætɪk; ˌɔːtəʊməˈtɪsɪtɪ /


  1. performed from force of habit or without conscious thought; lacking spontaneity; mechanical

    an automatic smile

    1. (of a device, mechanism, etc) able to activate, move, or regulate itself
    2. (of an act or process) performed by such automatic equipment
  2. (of the action of a muscle, gland, etc) involuntary or reflex
  3. occurring as a necessary consequence

    promotion is automatic after a year

  4. of a firearm
    1. utilizing some of the force of or gas from each explosion to eject the empty shell case, replace it with a new one, and fire continuously until release of the trigger Compare semiautomatic
    2. short for semiautomatic See also machine


  1. an automatic firearm
  2. a motor vehicle having automatic transmission
  3. a machine that operates automatically
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Derived Forms

  • automaticity, noun
  • ˌautoˈmatically, adverb
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Other Words From

  • au·to·mat·i·cal·ly adverb
  • au·to·ma·tic·i·ty [aw-t, uh, -m, uh, -, tis, -i-tee], noun
  • non·au·to·mat·ic adjective
  • non·au·to·mat·i·cal·ly adverb
  • qua·si-au·to·mat·ic adjective
  • qua·si-au·to·mat·i·cal·ly adverb
  • sub·au·to·mat·ic adjective
  • sub·au·to·mat·i·cal·ly adverb
  • un·au·to·mat·ic adjective
  • un·au·to·mat·i·cal·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of automatic1

First recorded in 1740–50; from Greek autómat(os) “self-moving” ( automaton ) + -ic
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Word History and Origins

Origin of automatic1

C18: from Greek automatos acting independently
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. on automatic, being operated or controlled by or as if by an automatic device.
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Synonym Study

Automatic, involuntary, spontaneous all mean not under the control of the will. That which is automatic, however, is an invariable reaction to a fixed type of stimulus: The patella reflex is automatic. That which is involuntary is an unexpected response that varies according to the occasion, circumstances, mood, etc.: an involuntary cry of pain. That which is spontaneous arises from immediate stimuli and usually involves an expression of strong feeling: a spontaneous roar of laughter.
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Example Sentences

A Google representative told HKFP that the blurring was due to an algorithm error in its automatic blurring technology typically used to obscure faces and vehicle license plates, but did not provide further details.

From Quartz

The youngest beginners on 50cc dirt bikes will have automatic transmissions—twist-and-go options.

In addition, “If you pay through manual payments or make a prepayment on your automatic payments account, these fees may be charged after your payment has been fully spent.”

Google Duo is taking it slow by testing automatic subtitles on Android and iOS, but only for previously recorded video and audio messages.

Google Duo, for example, is the latest app to test automatic closed captions, putting text on recorded video calls via the same artificial intelligence that powers the Google Assistant and the voice typing feature on Google Docs.

Hovering above the scene, commandos in helicopters were poised with automatic rifles.

Brinsley stepped up to the passenger side of the patrol car, raised a silver Taurus semi-automatic pistol and began firing.

The low crunch of packed dirt against rubber tire was overwhelmed by the ragged explosions of automatic gunfire.

Instead we heard the crackle of automatic gunfire and we could see gray smoke rising from the eastern side of the town.

He now stands in the self-proclaimed caliphate, also holding a child as well as an automatic weapon.

In the same way the technical form and mechanism of production were presumed to respond to an automatic stimulus.

This automatic suitable bass device does not interfere with the normal use of the stop-keys of the pedal department by hand.

It was not purposely contrived, it was in automatic obedience to deeper impulses than she knew.

He launched into a long explanation of some scheme he had in mind for securing automatic balancing.

No sooner had his feet hit the floor, however, than he felt the cold, stern prod of the barrel of an automatic.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




automated-teller machineautomatically