[ sem-ee-aw-tuh-mat-ik, sem-ahy- ]
/ ˌsɛm iˌɔ təˈmæt ɪk, ˌsɛm aɪ- /


partly automatic.
(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.


a self-loading rifle or other firearm.

Origin of semiautomatic

First recorded in 1890–95; semi- + automatic

Related forms

sem·i·au·to·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for semiautomatic

British Dictionary definitions for semiautomatic


/ (ˌsɛmɪˌɔːtəˈmætɪk) /


partly automatic
(of a firearm) self-loading but firing only one shot at each pull of the triggerCompare automatic (def. 5)


a semiautomatic firearm

Derived Forms

semiautomatically, 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