automatic pilot


Definition of automatic pilot 

2 : a state or condition in which activity or behavior is regulated automatically in a predetermined or instinctive manner doing his job on automatic pilot

Examples of automatic pilot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

During the war, Singer produced components for the Sperry T-1 bomb sight, B-29 bomber gunfire control computers, directional gyro and artificial horizon instruments, and automatic pilot parts. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "When the Singer Sewing Machine Company Built the Best .45 Pistol Ever Made," 21 Sep. 2018 After a while, on any tour, the crew is on automatic pilot. George Varga,, "Coachella a small gig for Jean-Michel Jarre, who has played for million-plus audiences three times," 17 Apr. 2018 Illustration: Adele Morgan Small and large airplanes, parts for airplanes and helicopters, automatic pilots for aeronautical or space navigation and flight data recorders are also targets. Liza Lin, WSJ, "Trump’s Tariff List Aims at China’s Exports—and Aspirations," 4 Apr. 2018 As Sam Loudermilk, a recovering alcoholic turned substance abuse counselor, Mr. Livingston wanders through Seattle with his face locked in a sneer and his snark on automatic pilot. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "Ron Livingston Loves to Play the Jerk," 13 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of automatic pilot

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about automatic pilot

Share automatic pilot

Statistics for automatic pilot

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for automatic pilot

The first known use of automatic pilot was in 1915

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on automatic pilot

Spanish Central: Translation of automatic pilot Encyclopedia article about automatic pilot

Comments on automatic pilot

What made you want to look up automatic pilot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!