au·​to·​ma·​tion | \ˌȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən \

Definition of automation 

1 : the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically

2 : the state of being operated automatically

3 : automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor

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Synonyms for automation


mechanization, robotization

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Examples of automation in a Sentence

feared that automation would add millions to the ranks of the unemployed

Recent Examples on the Web

As automation does more of the work, some employees could do other tasks. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "Big Tech Expands Footprint in Health," 27 Nov. 2018 From healthcare reform to climate change to the future of work and automation, there’s no doubt that science is at the core of these issues—and experts in each of those field are majorly underrepresented in our national government. Hans Aschim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Could More Female Scientists in Public Office Save America?," 8 Oct. 2018 Advances in camera quality and internet speed have meant an explosion in the home automation/electronics market — and that products improve greatly with every new generation. Diane Cowen, San Antonio Express-News, "Home security is more affordable — and better —than ever," 12 July 2018 Importantly, the Times does note that in some instances the push for automation has paid off, with the Model 3 production line requiring many fewer workers for certain processes than the equivalent portions of the Model S and Model X lines. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "The Agility, Persistence, and Pain Behind Tesla’s Model 3 Manufacturing Turnaround," 1 July 2018 But as weaponry leans more and more on automation and networking, hacking and cyberattacks become a greater threat. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Report Finds DOD "Could Be Pretty Easily Hacked"," 9 Oct. 2018 According to The Blast, Facebook's automation, which detects nudity, accidentially flagged it. Mariah Haas, Fox News, "Facebook apologizes for removing late Burt Reynolds' Cosmo photo, restores image," 7 Sep. 2018 Many of the job and income losses blamed on NAFTA came from automation, the China Shock and constant pressure to hold down labor costs to please Wall Street. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s NAFTA facelift would mark an ugly ‘win’ for America," 28 Aug. 2018 Nikki Taylor White, director of operations at the new Kansas City, Kan., fulfillment center, said the company's employees embraced the technology in an age of concern over automation and its effect on workers. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Robotics-heavy Amazon fulfillment center creates 2,000 jobs for humans in KCK | The Kansas City Star," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'automation.' 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 automation

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for automation

automatic entry 1

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Statistics for automation

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for automation

The first known use of automation was in 1912

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More Definitions for automation


au·​to·​ma·​tion | \ˌȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən \

Kids Definition of automation

1 : the method of making a machine, a process, or a system work without being directly controlled by a person

2 : automatic working of a machine, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of humans

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Comments on automation

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


a nest or breeding place

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