automatic

If someone asks, “How are you?” and you reply, “Fine,” without really thinking about it, that’s an automatic reply. Something that’s automatic is done without thinking, almost as if you’re a well-programmed machine.

The word automatic can be used to describe a machine that works on its own, performing its tasks with little or no human intervention, such as an automatic transmission on a car. Or, automatic can describe a person whose actions are like a machine's. If you flash a smile every time someone walks through the door, it’s an automatic smile, a natural reaction you didn't think about or plan in advance.

Definitions of automatic
  1. adjective
    operating with minimal human intervention; independent of external control
    automatic transmission”
    “a budget deficit that caused automatic spending cuts”
    Synonyms:
    autoloading, self-loading, semiautomatic
    (of firearms) capable of automatic loading and firing continuously
    automated, machine-controlled, machine-driven
    operated by automation
    self-acting, self-activating, self-moving, self-regulating
    designed to activate or move or regulate itself
    self-locking
    locking automatically when closed
    self-winding
    designed so that manual winding is unnecessary
    semiautomatic
    partially automatic
    smart
    capable of independent and apparently intelligent action
    mechanical
    using (or as if using) mechanisms or tools or devices
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    Antonyms:
    manual
    requiring human effort
    hand-operated, non-automatic
    operated by hand
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  2. adjective
    without volition or conscious control
    “the automatic shrinking of the pupils of the eye in strong light”
    synonyms: reflex, reflexive
    involuntary
    controlled by the autonomic nervous system; without conscious control
  3. adjective
    resembling the unthinking functioning of a machine
    “an automatic `thank you'”
    synonyms: automatonlike, machinelike, robotic, robotlike
    mechanical
    using (or as if using) mechanisms or tools or devices
  4. noun
    a pistol that will keep firing until the ammunition is gone or the trigger is released
    synonyms: automatic pistol
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    type of:
    automatic firearm, automatic gun, automatic weapon
    a firearm that reloads itself and keeps firing until the trigger is released
    handgun, pistol, shooting iron, side arm
    a firearm that is held and fired with one hand
  5. noun
    light machine gun
    synonyms: automatic rifle, machine rifle
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    types:
    assault gun, assault rifle
    any of the automatic rifles or semiautomatic rifles with large magazines designed for military use
    BAR, Browning automatic rifle
    a portable .30 caliber automatic rifle operated by gas pressure and fed by cartridges from a magazine; used by United States troops in World War I and in World War II and in the Korean War
    type of:
    automatic firearm, automatic gun, automatic weapon
    a firearm that reloads itself and keeps firing until the trigger is released
    machine gun
    a rapidly firing automatic gun (often mounted)
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