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(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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Functioning by or as if by automatic machine or device.
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.