[aw-tuh-muh-beel, aw-tuh-muh-beel, aw-tuh-moh-beel, -buh l]


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 formsau·to·mo·bil·ist [aw-tuh-muh-bee-list, -moh-bi-list] /ˌɔ tə məˈbi lɪst, -ˈmoʊ bɪ lɪst/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for automobile

Contemporary Examples of automobile

Historical Examples of automobile

  • For that reason, as well as because of the fumes in his brain, he did not hear the coming of the automobile.

  • Away with it and its limitations, and those of its big brother, the automobile!

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • The variable (an audible) part of the roadway for an automobile.

  • He would have made a good radiator ornament on an automobile.

    Pee-wee Harris

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

  • Along came the automobile, an eight-cylinder Super Junkster.

    Pee-wee Harris

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

British Dictionary definitions for automobile



another word (esp US) for car (def. 1)
Derived Formsautomobilist (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

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