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 shooter circled the center's parking lot in a vehicle before crashing into the building, getting out and opening fire with a semiautomatic rifle, Lt. Yvette Borden of the Tehama County Sheriff's Office, previously said. NBC News, "Fired employee kills one, injures four others in Walmart distribution center shooting," 28 June 2020 The semiautomatic tracing program is meant to supplement the work of about 260 temporary contact tracers the county is currently hiring using federal dollars. Nic Garcia, Dallas News, "Dallas County will consider whether to limit crowds before July Fourth; new contact tracing program to track COVID-19 cases," 26 June 2020 The shooter, allegedly Carrillo again, ran away armed with a short semiautomatic rifle equipped with a silencer and designed to fire multiple bullets with each pull of the trigger. Katie Shepherd, Anchorage Daily News, "An officer was murdered during Oakland protests. The killer was a ‘Boogaloo Boy’ using the peaceful marches as cover, feds say.," 17 June 2020 New Zealand last year enacted new gun control laws banning the deadliest types of semiautomatic weapons after a mass shooting in which a gunman killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers. Fox News, "Manhunt underway after officer killed, another wounded in New Zealand: report," 19 June 2020 On Monday, a counterdemonstrator shot a protester during a scuffle in Albuquerque, after a militia group in military-like garb and armed with semiautomatic rifles stood menacingly in the crowd throughout the afternoon. Katie Shepherd, Anchorage Daily News, "An officer was murdered during Oakland protests. The killer was a ‘Boogaloo Boy’ using the peaceful marches as cover, feds say.," 17 June 2020 In one of the cases out of Massachusetts, the justices declined to weigh in on the state's ban on certain semiautomatic firearms and high-capacity magazines. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Supreme Court declines to hear host of gun rights cases," 15 June 2020 The 42-year-old man — wanted for an Oakland homicide — emerged from a room at the Valley Inn around 4:30 p.m. holding a semiautomatic pistol with two hands and fired at least one round at deputies, said Sgt. Anna Bauman,, "Man shot, killed by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies was wanted for murder, officials say," 15 May 2020 Police recovered two firearms, including a Masterpiece Arms 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol loaded with 28 bullets from the car, as well as marijuana. Marie Fazio,, "Chicago man serving federal gun sentence in Skokie police chase charged with murder in two 2015 Far North Side killings," 15 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for semiautomatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of semiautomatic was in 1853

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Statistics for semiautomatic

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Semiautomatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for semiautomatic


How to pronounce semiautomatic (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with semiautomatic

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