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 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, "United Airlines passengers diverted to Gunnison because of weather, airline says," 28 Nov. 2019 Almost as if on automatic pilot, Pike passed to Gilyard for seven yards to the Cincinnati 46. Bill Koch,, "'Pike to Binns': An excerpt from author Bill Koch's latest book on UC Bearcats football," 11 Oct. 2019 That changed last month, when Mr. Powell perhaps inadvertently turned QT into a signaling mechanism by pointing out what was quite obvious, that QT had been working smoothly on automatic pilot. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "How the Fed Showed It Had the Market’s Back," 10 Jan. 2019 The craft operated on automatic pilot because commands transmitted from Earth take too long to reach Mars. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "NASA’s InSight Spacecraft Lands Safely on Mars," 26 Nov. 2018 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.

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First Known Use of automatic pilot

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for automatic pilot

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The first known use of automatic pilot was in 1915

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Cite this Entry

“Automatic pilot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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