Automation means making something automatic, or mechanized. If there's smoke in your house and your smoke detector is set up to "call" the fire department, that's an example of automation.

Car companies were the first manufacturers to use assembly lines, where the steps of building a car were divided among workers––and when those jobs started to be done more often by machines then by people, an executive at Ford coined the term automation to describe what was happening.

Definitions of automation
  1. noun
    the act of implementing the control of equipment with advanced technology; usually involving electronic hardware
    automation replaces human workers by machines”
    synonyms: mechanisation, mechanization
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    computerization, cybernation
    the control of processes by computer
    type of:
    high tech, high technology
    highly advanced technological development (especially in electronics)
  2. noun
    equipment used to achieve automatic control or operation
    “this factory floor is a showcase for automation and robotic equipment”
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    type of:
    an instrumentality needed for an undertaking or to perform a service
  3. noun
    the condition of being automatically operated or controlled
    automation increases productivity”
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    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
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