semi·​au·​to·​mat·​ic | \ˌse-mē-ˌȯ-tə-ˈma-tik, 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, ˌse-​ˌmī-​, -​mi-​ \ adverb

Examples of semiautomatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 In 1996, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle went on a rampage on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; the gunman was captured after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage, and is now serving a life prison sentence. Kaylee Remington,, "Cleveland police investigating after 6-month-old baby dies," 28 Apr. 2018 Other bills have been proposed since the Parkland, Fla., shooting, including raising to 21 the minimum age to buy semiautomatic rifles. Mike Cason,, "Arming teachers scheduled for debate in Alabama House," 18 Mar. 2018 Sodini stepped into their room at 8:15, switched off the lights, drew a pair of Glock semiautomatic pistols and began shooting. David J. Krajicek,, "'Incel' killers: Man who gunned down three women in 2009 set tone for 'involuntary celibate' mass murderers," 6 May 2018 Kavanaugh has taken a similar position, arguing that the Constitution protects the right to own semiautomatic rifles. Bob Egelko,, "Trump has ‘outsourced’ his Supreme Court picks to this conservative group," 8 July 2018 The same plaintiff later claimed the right to possess a semiautomatic weapon, but lost by a 2-1 vote in the D.C. Circuit, Walker noted. David G. Savage,, "Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are leading candidates for Supreme Court seat," 28 June 2018 Prosecutors had hoped the gun charge — carrying a semiautomatic weapon during a crime of violence — would send him to prison for the rest of his life. Adam Goldman, New York Times, "Benghazi Attacker Gets 22 Years, Disappointing Prosecutors Who Sought Life," 27 June 2018

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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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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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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