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”).
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.
- Fully automatic weapons cannot be legally owned by private citizens in the US, except in very special circumstances, as by private security companies.
- (computing, of a local variable) Automatically added to and removed from the stack during the course of function calls.
- (mathematics, of a group) Having one or more finite-state automata
- (of a firearm): semi-automatic, burst mode, selective action; bolt action, lever action, pump action (single-round per loading/chambering action)
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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.