semi·​au·​to·​mat·​ic | \ ˌse-mē-ˌȯ-tə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce semiautomatic (audio) , ˌse-ˌmī-, -mi-\

Definition of semiautomatic

: not fully automatic: such as
a : operated partly automatically and partly by hand
b 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

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Other Words from semiautomatic

semiautomatic noun
semiautomatically \ ˌse-​mē-​ˌȯ-​tə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce semiautomatically (audio) , ˌse-​ˌmī-​ , -​mi-​ \ adverb

Examples of semiautomatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The ban went into effect on Tuesday, bringing with it harsh penalties for anyone caught with the plastic device that increases the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Supreme Court Denies Attempt to Stop Bump-Stock Ban," 28 Mar. 2019 The first gun seizure under the law occurred in April when Florida authorities confiscated an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle from an Army veteran. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "More than 450 people in Florida ordered to give up guns under new law, report says," 30 July 2018 Initiative 1639 will raise the legal age to buy semiautomatic rifles — widely described as assault rifles — from 18 to 21. German Lopez, Vox, "Washington votes to strengthen gun laws with Initiative 1639," 7 Nov. 2018 On gun rights, Kavanaugh has taken a broad reading of the Second Amendment, writing in a 2011 dissent that the District of Columbia should not be allowed to ban semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018 Walker unveiled the legislation in March after a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle killed 17 at a high school in Parkland. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Nearly $45 million in Wisconsin school safety grants is left over as Brad Schimel seeks new ways to spend," 6 July 2018 Lawmakers in the House introduced bipartisan legislation to ban devices that turn a semiautomatic weapon into essentially a fully automatic firearm, an unusual effort by Democrats and Republicans to work together on gun legislation., "Bipartisan House Lawmakers Seek Ban on Rapid-Fire Gun Devices," 11 Oct. 2017 Ayers said Tuesday will begin the fact finding stage on how council could legally move forward to restrict and or secure rifles and semiautomatic weapons on hotel premises. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit councilwoman on Vegas tragedy: Ban rifles in hotel rooms facing public spaces," 2 Oct. 2017 The government says the facility was closed and unoccupied when the protesters, armed with semiautomatic rifles, arrived. National Geographic, "Why Federal Lands Are So Wildly Controversial in the West," 4 Jan. 2016

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

1853, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for semiautomatic

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for semiautomatic

The first known use of semiautomatic was in 1853

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English Language Learners Definition of semiautomatic

of a gun : able to fire bullets one after the other quickly but not automatically

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