au·​to·​ma·​tion | \ ˌȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce automation (audio) \

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

Instead, manufacturers will likely start out with low levels of automation and gradually increase the technology. Ally Marotti,, "An autonomous vehicle took on Chicago's thick morning traffic. Here's what happened.," 12 June 2019 As many as 160 million women around the world may have to find another way to earn a paycheck by 2030, new research on the impact of automation suggests. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Automation could throw millions of women out of work," 6 June 2019 Although the hospitality union was in new territory, workers in other industries have long fought for job security in the face of automation. Melissa Hellmann, The Seattle Times, "As Seattle’s new hotels roll out automation to serve guests, workers worry," 18 May 2019 The robots were intended to usher in a new age of automation; one where machines would work safely next to humans, rather than confined to their own sections on the factory floor. James Vincent, The Verge, "Pioneering creator of collaborative ‘cobots’ Rethink Robotics shuts down," 4 Oct. 2018 The project's working title was Level Zero, a reference to SAE levels of automation; this is meant to be a driver's car, not a driverless car. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Audi’s new electric sports car concept, the PB18 e-tron," 24 Aug. 2018 Musk scaled back to a mix of automation and manual labor in April. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 Dec. 2018 On top of that, increased automation and technology-heavy advanced manufacturing are proving challenging for current employees. Lini S. Kadaba,, "How this company matches skilled workers with employers in the Delaware Valley," 14 Mar. 2018 And signaling the coming clash between automation and labor, unions are already seeking to ban UPS from using drones or driverless vehicles. Lisa Mcgrath, idahostatesman, "Robots aren’t coming, they’re here, with both good and bad effects," 20 Feb. 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

17 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce automation (audio) \

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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