1 of 3


au·​to ˈȯ-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce auto (audio)
plural autos


2 of 3



3 of 3

combining form

variants or before a vowel aut-
: self : same one
: automatic : self-acting

Example Sentences

Noun the auto gave people a level of mobility that they had never known before
Recent Examples on the Web
The decision did not impact personal auto insurance. Michael R. Blood, Anchorage Daily News, 6 June 2023 In 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and NHTSA proposed a voluntary pledge that auto manufacturers could take to make AEB technology better and more widely available. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 3 June 2023 Africa’s key auto hubs, South Africa and Morocco, have hinted at mega and giga factories in their electric cars bid to remain relevant and tap a fast-rising global market. By Conrad Onyango, Quartz, 1 June 2023 Proceedings in an 18 years-long court battle between the city of Gary and a local auto parts business were further drawn out by a change of judge earlier this month. Alex Dalton, Chicago Tribune, 1 June 2023 State Farm last year posted a net loss of $6.7 billion, driven largely by losses in the auto division. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2023 Much of the latest inflation pressure reflects persistently higher prices for services, including restaurant meals, hotel rooms and auto maintenance. Nick Lichtenberg, Fortune, 26 May 2023 Since Hyundai’s Georgia auto factory won’t be operational until 2025, customers could lose out on the break until then. Greg Bluestein, ajc, 26 May 2023 That's why Minister Champagne has worked tirelessly to secure the future of Canada's auto industry. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 15 May 2023
The election is a result of the agreement reached between the federal government and the union following the fallout from the long-running corruption scandal that sent former union officials and ex-auto executives to prison for misusing worker training funds, among other misdeeds. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 28 Feb. 2023 So which makes the best semi-auto shotgun? Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, 25 Jan. 2021 One of the few semi-auto 17 WSM rifles is the Franklin armory F17-L. Richard Mann, Outdoor Life, 27 Feb. 2023 Also: a slick semi-auto espresso machine for $4,700 and a large neon sign depicting the blue Twitter bird logo — yours for about $23,000. Adela Suliman,, 18 Jan. 2023 Also: a slick semi-auto espresso machine for $4,700, and a large neon electrical sign depicting the ubiquitous blue Twitter bird logo — yours for about $23,000. Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2023 The Mark IV solved the biggest issue many shooters had with Ruger’s classic Mark II semi-auto, with its one-button takedown system. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, 18 Sep. 2020 He also is suspected of firing a gun in New Britain — again, no one was hurt — and three times fleeing police who were on a special anti-auto theft detail in Newington. Christine Dempsey,, 11 Jan. 2022 The man also described the gun that was pointed at him as a dull silver semi-auto, possibly a Sig-Sauer brand gun, documents say. oregonlive, 28 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'auto.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



by shortening


by shortening

Combining form

Greek, from autos same, -self, self

First Known Use


1899, in the meaning defined above


1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of auto was in 1876

Dictionary Entries Near auto

Cite this Entry

“Auto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
plural autos


2 of 2
see aut-

More from Merriam-Webster on auto

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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