From French automatique, from Ancient Greek αὐτόματον (automaton), neuter of αὐτόματος (automatos, “self-moving, moving of oneself, self-acting, spontaneous”), from αὐτός (autos, “self, myself”) + μέμαα (memaa, “to wish eagerly, strive, yearn, desire”).
automatic (not comparable)
- Capable of operating without external control or intervention.
- The automatic clothes washer was a great labor-saving device
- Done out of habit or without conscious thought.
- The reaction was automatic: flight!
- (of a firearm such as a machine gun) Firing continuously as long as the trigger is pressed until ammunition is exhausted.
- (computing, of a local variable) Automatically added to and removed from the stack during the course of function calls.
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automatic (plural automatics)
- A car with automatic transmission.
- I never learned to drive a stick. I can only drive an automatic.
- A semi-automatic firearm.