automatic pilot


: 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 There’s no automatic pilot. Geoff Edgers, Washington Post, 7 June 2022 The boat’s automatic pilot function was likely to have been engaged, with its radar showing what was nearby. Michael Wilson, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2022 Davì relied on his automatic pilot and took micro naps of 15-to-20 minutes, waking regularly to check the instruments. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 May 2022 The Sox manager is biding his time before October, making sure everyone gets enough rest (hello, Tim Anderson) and trying to get the bullpen on automatic pilot after another shaky month. Paul Sullivan,, 27 Aug. 2021 Was this an intervention by a human being or an algorithm on automatic pilot? Salvatore J. Cordileone and Jim Daly, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2021 Unlike automakers that describe their systems as super or some sort of automatic pilot, Toyota and Lexus have gone with a quieter name: Teammate. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 4 June 2021 Doebele said the pilot told passengers the flight’s automatic pilot function wasn’t working properly and hadn’t been working yesterday, either. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, 28 Nov. 2019 Almost as if on automatic pilot, Pike passed to Gilyard for seven yards to the Cincinnati 46. Bill Koch,, 11 Oct. 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of automatic pilot was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near automatic pilot

Cite this Entry

“Automatic pilot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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