semi·​au·​to·​mat·​ic ˌse-mē-ˌȯ-tə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce semiautomatic (audio)
: not fully automatic: such as
: operated partly automatically and partly by hand
of a firearm : able to fire repeatedly through an automatic reloading process but requiring release and another pressure of the trigger for each successive shot
a semiautomatic rifle
semiautomatic noun
semiautomatically adverb

Examples of semiautomatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web California’s 1989 assault weapons ban prohibits AR-15 models and other semiautomatic firearms with certain features in addition to fully automatic firearms. Gabrielle Lamarr Lemee, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 In December 2022, Lanez was convicted of three felonies for shooting Megan, including assault with a semiautomatic firearm that left the hip-hop star with bullet fragments in her feet. Zoe G Phillips, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 The semiautomatic rifles that have wrought human carnage from an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., to a Walmart in El Paso are also being used to menace the Haitian government and terrorize the population. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 Youngkin also signed identical House and Senate bills prohibiting the manufacture, sale or possession of an auto sear, a device used to convert a semiautomatic firearm into an automatic weapon. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2024 Illinois - Bans sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons, with certain exceptions. Kinsey Crowley, USA TODAY, 3 Jan. 2024 Another Alpha Project security guard was grazed in the leg by a bullet, and both defendants were convicted of assault with a semiautomatic firearm for his injuries. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2024 The case hinges on whether bump stocks convert semiautomatic rifles into machine guns. Abbie Vansickle, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Healer, who has a long criminal history, pleaded guilty last year to trafficking fentanyl, meth and heroin while armed with a semiautomatic rifle and is slated to be sentenced in April. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, 21 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'semiautomatic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of semiautomatic was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near semiautomatic

Cite this Entry

“Semiautomatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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