autopilot

noun
au·​to·​pi·​lot | \ ˈȯ-tō-ˌpī-lət How to pronounce autopilot (audio) \

Definition of autopilot

1 : a device for automatically steering ships, aircraft, and spacecraft also : the automatic control provided by such a device

Examples of autopilot in a Sentence

an airplane equipped with an autopilot The plane was flying on autopilot.
Recent Examples on the Web There is a ton of evidence that Google often leaves Play Store policing on autopilot. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 22 July 2022 To date, there have been about two dozen deaths associated with Tesla's autopilot feature specifically. Alex Polyakov, Forbes, 15 June 2022 Brooks, at the Center for Auto Safety, said other lawsuits are pending against Tesla involving the vehicle's autopilot and full self-driving systems. Freida Frisaro, ajc, 20 July 2022 Ricky Gervais is on autopilot as Ika Chu, the diabolical Somali cat who wants to perfect the view from his palace by wiping Kakamucho off the map. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 Tens of millions of American workers were largely on autopilot with respect to their jobs when the pandemic hit. Roger Martin, Fortune, 7 July 2022 In recent years, 12 Teslas on autopilot have crashed into emergency vehicles with blinking lights. Brian Platz, Forbes, 30 June 2022 People who fold laundry or lift weights during a Zoom meeting are able to do those tasks more or less on autopilot—which means that they’re not actually distracted from the meeting at hand. Sarah Todd, Quartz, 19 Apr. 2022 The heart of the aircraft was the Hughes MA-1 system, which integrated all navigation, radar, communications, and autopilot functions in a 2,500 pound (1,140 kg) collection of boxes at the front of the aircraft. Frank O’brien, Ars Technica, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autopilot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of autopilot

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About autopilot

Time Traveler for autopilot

Time Traveler

The first known use of autopilot was in 1916

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near autopilot

autophytography

autopilot

autopistol

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for autopilot

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Autopilot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autopilot. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on autopilot

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about autopilot

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!