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automatic Line breaks: auto|mat¦ic
Pronunciation: /ɔːtəˈmatɪk/

Definition of automatic in English:


1(Of a device or process) working by itself with little or no direct human control: an automatic kettle that switches itself off when it boils calibration is fully automatic
More example sentences
  • Many renovated and new restrooms are including automatic sensors to control faucets and toilets.
  • Now incorporating automatic light beam control, the car will automatically activate its lights when it becomes dark.
  • A mechanical arm turns pages every couple of seconds while an automatic machine translator wired to this device bangs out English text.
1.1(Of a firearm) self-loading and able to fire continuously until the ammunition is exhausted or the pressure on the trigger is released: automatic weapons
More example sentences
  • We have come under automatic machine-gun fire.
  • A rifle and two automatic firearms were confiscated.
  • He had tried to talk her into bringing an automatic firearm, as the assault would be a heavy one, but she was stubborn, and insisted that the knives would suit her fine.
1.2(Of a motor vehicle or its transmission) using gears that change by themselves according to speed and acceleration: a four-speed automatic gearbox
More example sentences
  • These engines are mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission.
  • This car is fun to drive on twisting country roads, thanks to a well-programmed 6 speed automatic gearbox with a tiptronic option.
  • The engine is combined with a new 6-speed automatic gearbox which gives excellent quality gear changes.
2Done or occurring spontaneously, without conscious thought or attention: automatic physical functions such as breathing Nice to meet you,’ he said, with automatic politeness
More example sentences
  • Thinking, memory and attitude operate on two levels: the conscious/deliberate and the unconscious / automatic.
  • Finally, termination is present when the new behavior has become rather automatic and requires no conscious effort.
  • Sometimes, these beliefs are so quick and reflexive that they're automatic, but they still shape our behavior.
2.1Done or occurring as a matter of course and without debate: he is the automatic choice for the senior team
More example sentences
  • If this player was always an automatic choice, the omission of some members of the victorious Scottish team in the European Team Championships has raised a few eyebrows.
  • They would have been automatic first team choices, but instead they remain sidelined for the remainder of the year as they recover from their respective injuries.
  • The other side of the coin is that he has had to leave out players who were once automatic choices, and it's not a task he enjoys.
2.2(Especially of a legal sanction) given or imposed as a necessary and inevitable result of a fixed rule or particular set of circumstances: he received an automatic one-match suspension
More example sentences
  • The President would not be required to impose automatic sanctions but would have a waiver power.
  • Failure to produce a licence when stopped by the police will result in the automatic punishment of one penalty point.
  • He or she is compelled to make an application to resist or to avoid automatic suspension under the rule.
certain, definite, undoubted, assured, obvious;
mandatory, compulsory


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1A gun that continues firing until the ammunition is exhausted or the pressure on the trigger is released: the rapid fire of automatics
More example sentences
  • The incessant firings from cannons, mortars, tanks, machine-guns and automatics continue throughout the night.
  • It became the best-known automatic or ‘assault rifle’ in the world.
  • Make the manufacture of handguns, automatics and certain semiautomatics and their corresponding ammunition illegal.
2A vehicle with automatic transmission: a Mercedes 300SL five-speed automatic
More example sentences
  • Must they be required by law only to drive automatics?
  • I prefer the control that manual gears give, and I've always had a bit of a problem with phantom-clutch foot when driving an automatic.
  • One day, one day, they will be too old to drive it, they will want an automatic with airbags and ABS and cruise control.


Mid 18th century: from Greek automatos 'acting of itself' (see automaton) + -ic.



Pronunciation: /ɔːtəməˈtɪsɪti/
Example sentences
  • Stolz's research looks into the cognitive processes that control attention and automaticity.
  • These children are able to produce legible handwriting but they do not achieve automaticity of handwriting.
  • The left hemisphere gets involved when stimuli and patterns are familiar and serves to establish automaticity of the task.

Words that rhyme with automatic

achromatic, acrobatic, Adriatic, aerobatic, anagrammatic, aquatic, aristocratic, aromatic, asthmatic, athematic, attic, autocratic, axiomatic, bureaucratic, charismatic, chromatic, cinematic, climatic, dalmatic, democratic, diagrammatic, diaphragmatic, diplomatic, dogmatic, dramatic, ecstatic, emblematic, emphatic, enigmatic, epigrammatic, erratic, fanatic, hepatic, hieratic, hydrostatic, hypostatic, idiomatic, idiosyncratic, isochromatic, lymphatic, melodramatic, meritocratic, miasmatic, monochromatic, monocratic, monogrammatic, numismatic, operatic, panchromatic, pancreatic, paradigmatic, phlegmatic, photostatic, piratic, plutocratic, pneumatic, polychromatic, pragmatic, prelatic, prismatic, problematic, programmatic, psychosomatic, quadratic, rheumatic, schematic, schismatic, sciatic, semi-automatic, Socratic, somatic, static, stigmatic, sub-aquatic, sylvatic, symptomatic, systematic, technocratic, thematic, theocratic, thermostatic, traumatic

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive