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

Other Words from semiautomatic

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

Examples of semiautomatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The shooter at the July 4 parade there purchased a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle, similar to an AR-15, unlawful in Illinois but not in adjoining states. Lawrence O. Gostin, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2022 Sapirman stayed in the bathroom for 62 minutes, then exited and began firing near and into the mall's food court with a SIG Sauer M400, a semiautomatic rifle of a class of guns sometimes called assault weapons, authorities said. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 19 July 2022 In another case, in 2017, a gunman burst into a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and shot 26 people to death with a semiautomatic weapon. New York Times, 19 June 2022 Discussions have focused on whether lawmakers can raise the age to purchase a semiautomatic weapon or a handgun from 18 to 21. Jennifer Haberkornstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2022 Cornyn suggested to The New York Times on Monday this could have stopped the 18-year-old gunman who attacked Robb Elementary School from buying a semiautomatic weapon. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 8 June 2022 In New York, lawmakers passed legislation this week to revise its red flag laws and raise the age to buy a semiautomatic weapon from 18 to 21. ABC News, 5 June 2022 Overnight, there was one in Philadelphia, three people killed, 14 injured, using a semiautomatic weapon. CBS News, 5 June 2022 Bissonnette, armed with a semiautomatic weapon and a pistol, opened fire on 46 people gathered for evening prayers at a Quebec City mosque in January 2017, killing half a dozen and severely injuring others. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 27 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Semiautomatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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