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having the capability of starting, operating, moving, etc., independently:
an automatic sprinkler system; an automatic car wash.
Physiology. occurring independently of volition, as certain muscular actions; involuntary.
done unconsciously or from force of habit; mechanical:
an automatic application of the brakes.
occurring spontaneously:
automatic enthusiasm.
(of a firearm, pistol, etc.) utilizing the recoil or part of the force of the explosive to eject the spent cartridge shell, introduce a new cartridge, cock the arm, and fire it repeatedly.
a machine that operates automatically.
automatic rifle.
automatic pistol.
Football. audible (def 2).
automatic pilot.
automatic transmission.
an automobile equipped with automatic transmission.
on automatic, being operated or controlled by or as if by an automatic device.
Contemporary Examples

But the drama that unfolds across their visages is indicative of automaticity rather than authenticity.
‘Visitors’ Is Staring At You Emma Myers January 24, 2014

Historical Examples

Without such exaggeration, America may justly claim the contribution of automaticity to the Machine of Civilization.
Invention Bradley A. Fiske

Similarly, all our experience in life tends to automaticity.
Invention Bradley A. Fiske

Not only is it true that repetition makes for automaticity, but intensity is also an aid.
How to Teach George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy

In the best modern types of engine this automaticity goes far indeed.
Inventors at Work George Iles

The essence of automaticity is that mechanism at a certain, predetermined point in an operation shall perform a required act.
Inventors at Work George Iles

performed from force of habit or without conscious thought; lacking spontaneity; mechanical: an automatic smile

(of a device, mechanism, etc) able to activate, move, or regulate itself
(of an act or process) performed by such automatic equipment

(of the action of a muscle, gland, etc) involuntary or reflex
occurring as a necessary consequence: promotion is automatic after a year
(of a firearm)

utilizing some of the force of or gas from each explosion to eject the empty shell case, replace it with a new one, and fire continuously until release of the trigger Compare semiautomatic (sense 2)
short for semiautomatic (sense 2) See also machine (sense 5)

an automatic firearm
a motor vehicle having automatic transmission
a machine that operates automatically

“self-acting, moving or acting on its own,” 1812, from Greek automatos, used of the gates of Olympus and the tripods of Hephaestus (also “without apparent cause, by accident”), from autos “self” (see auto-) + matos “thinking, animated” (see automaton). Of involuntary animal or human actions, from 1748, first used in this sense by English physician and philosopher David Hartley (1705-1757). In reference to a type of firearm, from 1877; specifically of machinery that imitates human-directed action from 1940.

“automatic weapon,” 1902, from automatic (adj.). Meaning “motorized vehicle with automatic transmission” is from 1949.


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  • Automatize

    to make automatic. automate. verb to make (a process, etc) automatic or (of a process, etc) to be made automatic v. 1837, “to make into an automaton;” see automaton + -ize. Meaning “to make automatic” attested by 1952. Related: Automatized; automatizing.

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  • Automatism

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