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on automatic pilot

In an intuitive way without having to think about one's actions, generally because one has done something many times in the past. Also used in the shortened form, "on autopilot." By the second week of data entry, I could fill in the spreadsheets on automatic pilot. Making bottles, changing diapers, and putting the baby to sleep were all challenging at first, but now I feel like I'm doing it all on autopilot.
See also: automatic, on, pilot

pilot someone or something through (something)

to guide or steer someone or something through something, especially through a waterway. We hired someone to pilot us through the harbor entrance. The channel was treacherous, and we hired someone to pilot the ship through.
See also: pilot, through

pilot something into something

 and pilot something in
to steer or guide something into something. (Usually refers to steering a ship.) We need to signal for a pilot to pilot our ship into the harbor. Fred piloted in the freighter.
See also: pilot

pilot something out of something

 and pilot something out
to steer or guide something out of something. (Usually refers to steering a ship.) The chubby little man with a pipe piloted the huge ship out of the harbor. The storm made it very difficult to pilot the ship out. Help me pilot out this old tub.
See also: of, out, pilot

on automatic pilot


on autopilot

COMMON If you are on automatic pilot or on autopilot, you are acting without thinking about what you are doing, usually because you have done it many times before or because you are very tired. Note: `Autopilot' is often written as `auto-pilot' in British English. Steve seemed to be on automatic pilot and able to go on driving without apparent fatigue. Note: You can also say that you go on to automatic pilot or on to autopilot if you start acting in this way. When the kids came home I just switched on to autopilot, making the tea, listening to them fight. Note: In aircraft, automatic pilot is a device which automatically keeps the plane on course without the need for the pilot to do much.
See also: automatic, on, pilot

drop the pilot

abandon a trustworthy adviser.
Dropping the Pilot was the caption of a famous cartoon by John Tenniel , published in Punch in 1890 . It depicted Bismarck's dismissal as German Chancellor by the young Kaiser Wilhelm II .
See also: drop, pilot

be on ˌautomatic ˈpilot

do something without thinking because you have done the same thing many times before: I got up and dressed on automatic pilot.
The automatic pilot is the device in an aircraft that keeps it on a fixed course without the need for a person to control it. It is often shortened to ‘autopilot’: I did the journey on autopilot.
See also: automatic, on, pilot


n. a chaplain. The sky-pilot says we can park in the church’s lot, if we don’t mess anything up or make too much noise.
References in classic literature ?
When I reached the top I found the brass dome and the statue exactly as the pilot had described, but was too wearied with all I had gone through to do more than glance at them, and, flinging myself under the dome, was asleep in an instant.
The pilot probably does not know to this day why his responses won him this enthusiastic greeting.
Dantes continued at his post in spite of the presence of the pilot, until this manoeuvre was completed, and then he added, "Half-mast the colors, and square the yards
I gave the custom-house officers a copy of our bill of lading; and as to the other papers, they sent a man off with the pilot, to whom I gave them.
The pilot and third officer loomed above him, as did the man at the wheel, a bulky German, deserted from a warship, whom he had signed on in Rangoon.
Below, to star-board, on the bridge deck, the pilot saw the crushed mess-room door, roughly bulkheaded against the pounding seas.
It must 'a' been a big un," the pilot remarked sympathetically.
The pilot ejaculated an oath of amazement and horror.
The peculiar knowledge of the pilot and captain sufficed for many thousands of people who knew no more of the sea and navigation than I knew.
From out of the fog came the mournful tolling of a bell, and I could see the pilot turning the wheel with great rapidity.
As he leaned there, he ran a calm and speculative eye over us, as though to determine the precise point of the collision, and took no notice whatever when our pilot, white with rage, shouted, "Now you've done it
Truly, sir, I am nae pilot," said Alan; "but it sticks in my mind there are ten miles of them.
Divided between our rubber and such topics as these, we were running (as we thought) into Halifax Harbour, on the fifteenth night, with little wind and a bright moon - indeed, we had made the Light at its outer entrance, and put the pilot in charge - when suddenly the ship struck upon a bank of mud.
Nor was it less amusing to remark how desperately unpopular the poor pilot became in one short minute.
From one solitary turret-chamber, however, there shone a ray of light; and towards this speck of comfort in the cold, cheerless, silent scene, Mr Willet bade his pilot lead him.