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

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 Such is the promise of e-government advertised by neoliberal elites — policy wonks, politicians on the make, self-interested contractors and philanthro-capitalists: waste and inequity vanquished in the solvent of automation and big data. Stephen Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Books by Virginia Eubanks, Jeremy Bailenson, Niall Ferguson," 1 Feb. 2018 If trends hold, smart machines—computers and robots equipped with artificial intelligence—will deplete the professional job market in the next decade as ruthlessly as automation and robots did the assembly lines in the 1980s. Gabrielle Jonas, Newsweek, "Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone? Ask a Robot.," 30 Nov. 2014 Sai Nelaturi is a scientist and area manager of computational automation for systems engineering at PARC, a Xerox Company. Pam Baker, Ars Technica, "Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine," 6 Dec. 2018 An emerging equity challenge played out in 2018, invisibly, through the rise of automation. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How cities became more equitable in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 As McAfee's Advanced Threat Team reported in a blog post today, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) logins for the building automation systems at a large international airport were found for sale on the Dark Web as well—for a mere $10. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Year-old router bug exploited to steal sensitive DOD drone, tank documents," 11 July 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

3 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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