See also: automàtic


Alternative formsEdit


From French automatique, from Ancient Greek αὐτόματον (autómaton), neuter of αὐτόματος (autómatos, self-moving, moving of oneself, self-acting, spontaneous), from αὐτός (autós, self, myself) + μέμαα (mémaa, to wish eagerly, strive, yearn, desire).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌɔːtəˈmætɪk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌɔtəˈmætɪk/, [ˌɔɾəˈmæɾɪk]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ætɪk


automatic (comparative more automatic, superlative most automatic) (superlative dubious)

  1. Capable of operating without external control or intervention.
    The automatic clothes washer was a great labor-saving device.
  2. Done out of habit or without conscious thought.
    The reaction was automatic: flight!
    Absent-minded doodling is a form of automatic art.
  3. necessary, inevitable, prescribed by logic, law, etc.
    Spitting at another player means an automatic red card.
  4. (of a firearm such as a machine gun) Firing continuously as long as the trigger is pressed until ammunition is exhausted.
    Fully automatic weapons cannot be legally owned by private citizens in the US, except in very special circumstances, as by private security companies.
  5. (of a handgun) An autoloader; a semi-automatic or self-loading pistol, as opposed to a revolver or other manually actuated handgun, which fires one shot per pull of the trigger; distinct from machine guns.
    The US Army adopted John Browning's M1911 pistol as its sidearm, chambered in .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol).
  6. (computing, of a local variable) Automatically added to and removed from the stack during the course of function calls.
  7. (mathematics, of a group) Having one or more finite-state automata



Coordinate termsEdit

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Related termsEdit


  • Albanian: automatik
  • Malay: automatik


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


automatic (plural automatics)

  1. A car with automatic transmission.
    I never learned to drive a stick. I can only drive an automatic.
  2. A semi-automatic pistol.
    The G-men raiding the speakeasy were equipped with .45 automatics, while the local policemen were carrying revolvers and shotguns.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 9, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 262:
      'The automatic under his pillow gave the lie to that statement.'



See alsoEdit