• synonyms


[aw-tuh-mey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for automation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
  2. a mechanical device, operated electronically, that functions automatically, without continuous input from an operator.
  3. act or process of automating.
  4. the state of being automated.
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Origin of automation

First recorded in 1945–50; autom(atic) + (oper)ation
Related formspro·au·to·ma·tion, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for automation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He complained of segregation and unemployment, and automation in the United States.

    Warren Commission (1 of 26): Hearings Vol. I (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • Automation or not, Leoh thought smilingly, there were certain human values that transcended mere efficiency.

    The Dueling Machine

    Benjamin William Bova

  • Automation, the second industrial revolution, has eliminated for all practical purposes the need for their labor.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • Automation at its ultimate, not even the steward department had tasks adequately to fill the hours.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • Even where men could have taken charge, automation was cheaper, more reliable, less risky of lives.

    Industrial Revolution

    Poul William Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for automation


  1. the use of methods for controlling industrial processes automatically, esp by electronically controlled systems, often reducing manpower
  2. the extent to which a process is so controlled
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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 automation


1948, in the manufacturing sense, coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder, from automatic + -ion. Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper