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From Greek automatos self-acting, from aut- + -matos (akin to Latin ment-, mens mind) — more at mind

Date: 1748

  • 1 a.largely or wholly involuntary ; especially : reflex <automatic blinking of the eyelids>
b. acting or done spontaneously or unconsciously
c. done or produced as if by machine : mechanical <the answers were automatic>
  • 2. having a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism <an automatic transmission>
  • 3. of a firearm : firing repeatedly until the trigger is released

synonyms see spontaneous — au·to·mat·i·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb — au·to·ma·tic·i·ty \-mə-ˈti-sə-tē, -ma-\ noun

See also