Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A vending machine for food.
  • n. A cafeteria consisting of vending machines.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a vending machine from which you can get food.
  • n. a type of cafeteria where food is served from machines.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A photographic lens-shutter which is opened and kept open by means of a pneumatic bulb.
  • n. An apparatus consisting of a series of lifts in compartments from which, by means of automatic machinery, separate articles of food at stated prices are delivered to any one who will drop the necessary coin into a slot; also, a restaurant which serves its customers by means of such an apparatus. The aim is to do away with the intermediation of waiters.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a vending machine from which you can get food
  • n. a cafeteria where food is served from machines

Etymologies

From the German Automat, as the system was originally developed in Germany. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As shoppers stopped to purchase bread from an automat in a suburban Frankfurt Aldi one recent afternoon, many said they weren't terribly bothered by the distinction.

    Fresh Test: Grocery Store Automats Get a Rise Out of German Bakers

  • The third-generation baker lobs 15 cents into the massive, beige-colored automat before him, presses a button and cocks his ear to the machine for any clues to what's transpiring inside.

    Fresh Test: Grocery Store Automats Get a Rise Out of German Bakers

  • Adding insult, the automat goods cost about half the price of most bakeries 'fresh bread.

    Fresh Test: Grocery Store Automats Get a Rise Out of German Bakers

  • We would always have lunch at Horn & Hardart 's automat, which was the most fabulous place.

    My Hall of Enchantment (And One Very Bad Date)

  • Concerned about the intrusion of his head-camera, which is rigged to broadcast online a live stream of images snapped automat ically at one-minute intervals, some of Mr. Bilal ' s acquaintances have removed him from their guest lists, he said Thursday in his first newspaper interview about the project.

    His Hindsight Is 20-20

  • William S. Burroughs counseled both Richards and Smith, at different times, and Ginsberg tried to pick up Smith at a Horn & Hardart automat, thinking she was a he.

    Patti Smith and Keith Richards: a study in contrast

  • Pg 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Individual will be automat. enrolled in Medicaid ..

    Anti-Health Care Reform, Anti-Obama: What's Been Going Out As "Gospel" Part Two

  • I know, I know, it's a weird idea, that an automat might be considered a kind of wunderkammer.

    Automat for the People

  • All they needed were little Surprise Drawers down at the bottom which furnished you with an unknown treat, or secret "free" compartments, in which you could have the contents if you could find the hidden door, to complete the experience of foraging in some kind of crazy Museum of Food (both these images, by the way, were some of the many that came into my dreams for years after my visit to the automat).

    Automat for the People

  • The Smithsonian has a 35-foot section of the original 1902 Horn & Hardart automat in Philadelphia, which is "beautifully ornate with its mirrors, marble and marquetry" and I'm sure is about as close to a Cabinet of Curious Food as you can get.

    Automat for the People

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