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[aw-tuh-mey-shuh n] /ˌɔ təˈmeɪ ʃən/
the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
a mechanical device, operated electronically, that functions automatically, without continuous input from an operator.
act or process of automating.
the state of being automated.
Origin of automation
1945-50; autom(atic oper)ation
Related forms
proautomation, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for automation
  • Part of the point of automation is to protect the mistake-prone from themselves.
  • Make migrant work more expensive and there will be more automation applied and less migrant workers.
  • But the automation required for this was far beyond our capabilities.
  • Now home automation is coming to a subdivision near you.
  • automation at the cashier booth is taking some new twists of late.
  • These processes often have to be done by hand, because production volumes in small firms are too low for automation.
  • The trick, of course, would be doing this hundreds or thousands of times a day without the automation breaking down.
  • Having the on-off switch in software has another advantage, too: automation.
  • automation never worked for incoming flights, whose baggage has been moved by handlers from the beginning.
  • To completely avoid automation problems you need to have no automation, or full automation.
British Dictionary definitions for automation


the use of methods for controlling industrial processes automatically, esp by electronically controlled systems, often reducing manpower
the extent to which a process is so controlled
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for automation

1948, in the manufacturing sense, coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder, from automatic + -ion. Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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automation in Technology

Automatic, as opposed to human, operation or control of a process, equipment or a system; or the techniques and equipment used to achieve this. Most often applied to computer (or at least electronic) control of a manufacturing process.
See also design automation, office automation, manularity, Manufacturing Automation Protocol, PEARL, QBE.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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