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

His presidential campaign platform consists of a federal buyback and ban on semiautomatic weapons. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Eric Swalwell’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained," 26 June 2019 Fifty people were shot dead by a gunman wielding semiautomatic weapons in the attack on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in the South Island city of Christchurch. New York Times, "New Zealand Mosque Killing Suspect Pleads Not Guilty," 13 June 2019 These odd-looking semiautomatic rifles operate similarly to ones that are banned, including the ability to rapidly fire. Zusha Elinson And Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Gun Makers Adjust Rifles to Skirt Bans," 21 June 2019 In Australia in 1996, 35 people were killed when a gunman opened fire with two semiautomatic assault rifles. Chris Murphy, Time, "Our Republican Colleagues in the Senate Must Act to Break the Cycle of Gun Deaths," 14 June 2019 Australia has some of the strictest gun laws, baning both assault riffles and other semiautomatic rifles and guns after the Port Arthur killings in 1996. Fox News, "At least four dead, two more injured after Australian gunman goes on shooting spree: reports," 5 June 2019 Varela told police that Vitela and Higgins were in the Charger and shot at the man with semiautomatic rifles, court records state. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Police: 3 arrested in Phoenix drive-by shooting," 4 June 2019 In 2007 a group was arrested after allegedly engaging in paramilitary-style training with semiautomatic weapons in a remote area of New Zealand’s North Island. Washington Post, "New Zealand mosque massacre suspect first to face country’s anti-terrorism laws," 9 June 2019 The only major action Mr. Trump has taken on gun control since being elected was to ban bump stocks, devices that make semiautomatic rifles fire like machine guns and which were used in the Las Vegas massacre. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Trump Heads to NRA Convention as Disagreements Over His Gun Policies Simmer," 25 Apr. 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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Statistics for semiautomatic

Last Updated

11 Jul 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with semiautomatic

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