nounUS • historical
- A cafeteria in which food and drink were obtained from vending machines.More example sentences
- When the detective in The Erasers eats lunch, it is in an automat where food is reduced to ‘cubes’ and ‘replicas.’
- Fueled by the nickels of new legions of white collar workers and immigrants who could not speak English and therefore could not order at a restaurant, the automat prospered in the early 1900s and handily survived the Depression.
- By the 1920s, some restaurants and automats were heavily populated with gay men, especially late at night, and a few places openly catered to them.
late 17th century (denoting an automaton): from German, from French automate, from Latin automaton (see automaton). The current sense dates from the early 20th century.
More definitions of automatDefinition of automat in:
- The British & World English dictionary