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.
- (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).
- (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.