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.

1945–50; autom(atic oper)ation

proautomation, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
automation (ˌɔːtəˈmeɪʃən)
1.  the use of methods for controlling industrial processes automatically, esp by electronically controlled systems, often reducing manpower
2.  the extent to which a process is so controlled

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1948, in the manufacturing sense, coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder, from automatic + -tion. Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

automation definition

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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Example sentences
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.
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