automatic

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be on automatic pilot

To function or do something automatically, without thinking about one's actions, generally because one has done something many times in the past. Also used in the shortened form, "be on autopilot." By the second week of data entry, I felt like I was 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 on automatic pilot when I do it. Sometimes I arrive at work without remembering how I got there, like I was on automatic pilot the whole time.
See also: automatic, on, pilot

on automatic

(Functioning) automatically, without thinking about one's actions, generally because one has done something many times in the past. By the second week of data entry, I could fill in the spreadsheets on automatic. 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 automatic. Sometimes I arrive at work without remembering how I got there, like I was on automatic the whole time.
See also: automatic, on

on automatic pilot

Automatically, without thinking 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 automatic pilot. Sometimes I arrive at work without remembering how I got there, like I was on automatic pilot the whole time.
See also: automatic, on, pilot
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

on automatic pilot

or

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on automatic

Functioning by or as if by automatic machine or device.
See also: automatic, on
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Most learned to drive on manual cars and, up until recently, choose manual over automatic when purchasing a car.
The shift in preference from manual to automatic has been gradual, but has spiked over the past three years as Cairo's traffic grows increasingly worse.
The story was accompanied by illustrations of several semi-automatic versions of automatic weapons, with captions that cited the much higher firing rates of the automatics.
In a September 1988 report on "assault weapons" that he prepared for the Education Fund to End Handgun Violence, gun control advocate Josh Sugarmann candidly observed: "The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons--anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun--can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.
Also line of hot-stamp wire/sleeve marking machines (hand, air operated, and automatic marking and feeding) and accessories.
Optional devices include index mechanisms for multicolor heat transfers, rotary tables, fixtures, dies, and parts feeders for automatic processing.
Transmission is five-speed manual or electronically controlled four-speed automatic.
The driver's well-being is attended to via a long list of features, including a driver air bag, anti-lock brakes, tilt steering wheel, automatic climate control, remote entry system and multi-adjustable power front seats.
Wagner continued, "The figures quoted in sales brochures for fuel economy, emission levels and 0-100 km/h acceleration times are the next obstacle to overcome when selling a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission.
In addition, hot-stamp wire and flexible-tube marking machines and accessories can be interfaced with automatic cutting/stripping and termination systems.
On the other hand, as technology advances, Electronic Stability Control helps some cars with automatic transmissions to increase grip in dicey weather.
The .40-automatic cartridge provides ballistic performance closer to the .45 automatic, while being chambered in handguns with 9-millimeter-size frames and offering magazine capacities higher than many .45-automatic handguns.
69-21 may do so automatically under the general automatic change accounting procedures of Rev.
Two automatic screen-printer models decorate a wide range of 3D parts, containers, and packages to 6-in.
Makes spray-painting masks and shields, automatic and semi-automatic spray-painting equipment, vacuum metallizing equipment for applying base and top coats (flow-coating machines), vacuum plating machines, air-operated clamping fixtures, spindle machines, automatic mask-cleaning systems, either solventless or with solvents, machines that apply decorative and functional coatings, and ultraviolet coating and curing systems.
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