au·​to·​mate ˈȯ-tə-ˌmāt How to pronounce automate (audio)
automated; automating

transitive verb

: to operate by automation
: to convert to largely automatic operation
automate a process

intransitive verb

: to undergo automation
automatable adjective

Examples of automate in a Sentence

The company recently automated its filing process. a factory that has yet to be automated a factory that has yet to automate When companies automate, employees lose jobs.
Recent Examples on the Web This is a set-it-and-forget-it system, so software updates, security patches, and bug fixes are automated. WIRED, 20 Sep. 2023 Strohecker said the state is working to automate a process using available data to confirm eligibility and renew coverage instead of sending out renewal documents and requiring members to respond. Megan Banta, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 The smart home is in a unique position to help automate this type of energy management, and other smart home platforms have enabled similar features. Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge, 13 Sep. 2023 The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November kicked off an AI frenzy and spotlighted the ways in which highly skilled white-collar workers could have their jobs automated., 11 Sep. 2023 As a result of automating these rote tasks, medical service providers are free to focus more on their core mission, which is delivering care to patients. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 Remapping unused function keys to media controls, or assigning custom inputs called macros to automate repetitive tasks, are easy and common tools offered by the best wireless keyboards. Chris Coke, Popular Mechanics, 8 Sep. 2023 For healthcare providers, all these digitized and automated capabilities support far greater efficiency. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 Another report released in July by McKinsey, a global consulting firm, estimates that by 2030, workplace activities that account for up to 30% of hours worked in the U.S. could be automated. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, 4 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


back-formation from automation

Note: The formation of automation from automatic entry 1 (or automaton) is idiosyncratic. The -at- of automatic is blended with the suffix -ation, resulting in a word that is no longer divisible into base and suffix. The element -at- mimics, as it were, the -at- of -ate entry 4 and -ation, though in origin it has no relation to it. Another approach to this curious derivation might be to take it as a blend of automatic and operation, though there is no evidence that the coiner had this in mind. A more regular way to derive a verb from automatic would be automatize, and in fact such a word is attested (see automatize, but with a different sense), along with a corresponding noun automatization. In a discussion on automation with the editors of the Atlantic Monthly the mathematician Norbert wiener was said to take "a firm stand on nomenclature": "'Automation,' he says, is barbarous; let it be 'automatization' or nothing" ("Science and Industry," Atlantic Monthly, vol. 195, no. 6 [June, 1955], p. 14). See also the note at automation.

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of automate was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near automate

Cite this Entry

“Automate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


au·​to·​mate ˈȯt-ə-ˌmāt How to pronounce automate (audio)
automated; automating
: to operate by automation
: to convert to mainly automatic operation

More from Merriam-Webster on automate

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