au·​to·​mat·​ic | \ ˌȯ-tə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce automatic (audio) \

Definition of automatic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : largely or wholly involuntary especially : reflex sense 5 automatic blinking of the eyelids
b : acting or done spontaneously or unconsciously the automatic applause of the audience
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



Definition of automatic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a machine or apparatus that operates automatically especially : an automatic firearm
2a : an automatic transmission a car with a three-speed automatic
b : an automobile with an automatic transmission Is your car an automatic or a manual?
3 American football : audible

Other Words from automatic


automatically \ ˌȯ-​tə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce automatic (audio) \ adverb
automaticity \ ˌȯ-​tə-​mə-​ˈti-​sə-​tē How to pronounce automatic (audio) , -​ma-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for automatic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

  • nonmechanical
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Choose the Right Synonym for automatic


spontaneous, impulsive, instinctive, automatic, mechanical mean acting or activated without deliberation. spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness. a spontaneous burst of applause impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment. impulsive acts of violence instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will. blinking is an instinctive reaction automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response. his denial was automatic mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response. a mechanical teaching method

Examples of automatic in a Sentence

Adjective Without thinking, he gave an automatic reply. She always has an automatic smile for everyone. Noun Will your next car be a manual or an automatic?
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With the automatic transmission, the base S version adds 2 mpg in both the EPA city and highway estimates, which are now 31/41 mpg. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 6 May 2022 The car comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission the deliver smooth shifts overall, and the paddle shifters were pretty responsive too. Maren Estrada, BGR, 30 Apr. 2022 As far as engine configurations, there’s a mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbo-six that channels 395 hp and 406 ft lbs of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission, though that mill is only on offer with the SE models. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 26 Apr. 2022 Both powertrains use an eight-speed automatic transmission and come standard with all-wheel drive. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 25 Apr. 2022 Including stop/start technology, the Traverse includes a nine-speed automatic transmission as well. Marc Grasso, Hartford Courant, 23 Apr. 2022 All Range Rovers come with all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission and adaptive air suspension. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 21 Apr. 2022 On the other side of the automatic transmission lies the next step in the evolution to complete passivity: the driverless vehicle. WSJ, 4 Apr. 2022 Both motor and engine are upstream of the nine-speed automatic transmission that powers all four wheels (the 4Matic bit). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 31 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both engines pair with an eight-speed automatic that now has a Sprint function that shifts the transmission into the lowest available gear and puts all the drive modes in the sportiest settings when the left paddle shifter is held for one second. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, 12 Apr. 2022 The only transmission with this engine is a conventional eight-speed automatic that feeds either the front wheels or an all-wheel-drive system. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, 15 Apr. 2021 The piece is outfitted with the manufacture automatic-wining 69385 caliber chronograph movement, visible through the caseback, which is equipped with the chronograph functions, date and day display and small hacking seconds. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 30 Mar. 2022 The most significant powertrain change is the arrival of a new wet-clutch nine-speed transmission, which has planetary gears like a conventional automatic but uses a clutch pack instead of a torque converter to improve off-the-line response. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 14 Mar. 2022 The six-speed automatic is now only available on the top Grand Touring model. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, 16 Dec. 2021 Thanks to them the R retains the option of the manual transmission in the U.S. and Canada; in every other market, including Germany, Golf R is fitted exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Dan Neil, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2022 Polaris doesn't quote shift times, but this automatic's one-Mississippi shift action is more early Smart ForTwo than Ferrari F430 Scuderia. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 8 Apr. 2021 Power is courtesy of either a 2.5-liter turbo-four or a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, both connect to an eight-speed automatic. Derek Powell, Car and Driver, 3 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'automatic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of automatic


1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for automatic

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for automatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of automatic was in 1686

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Statistics for automatic

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Automatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for automatic


au·​to·​mat·​ic | \ ˌȯ-tə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce automatic (audio) \

Kids Definition of automatic

1 : involuntary sense 1 automatic blinking of eyelids
2 : being a machine or device that allows something to work without being directly controlled by a person

Other Words from automatic

automatically \ -​ti-​kə-​lē \ adverb



Legal Definition of automatic

: happening or existing through the operation of a preexisting arrangement that is triggered by some event specifically : happening or existing through the operation of law automatic reversal an automatic appeal

Other Words from automatic

automatically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on automatic

Nglish: Translation of automatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of automatic for Arabic Speakers


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