from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The state or quality of being automatic.
- n. Automatic mechanical action.
- n. Philosophy The theory that the body is a machine whose functions are accompanied but not controlled by consciousness.
- n. Physiology The involuntary functioning of an organ or other body structure that is not under conscious control, such as the beating of the heart or the dilation of the pupil of the eye.
- n. Physiology The reflexive action of a body part.
- n. Psychology Mechanical, seemingly aimless behavior characteristic of various mental disorders.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Acting automatically or involuntarily.
- n. An action performed subconsciously, without any apparent direction from the mind; a thought which appears spontaneously in one's consciousness.
- n. A surrealist painting technique whereby one attempts to move the brush, pen etc. without conscious control over it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The state or quality of being automatic; the power of self-moving; automatic, mechanical, or involuntary action.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Automatic or involuntary action: in pathology, sometimes specifically applied to such purposeless actions as are often exhibited by patients after an epileptic fit.
- n. The doctrine that animals, especially those below man, are automata, in the sense that all the phenomena exhibited by them are results of physical laws; especially, the doctrine of Descartes that animals are devoid of consciousness
- n. The faculty of independently originating action or motion.
- n. Specifically, in psychology: An action performed unconsciously or subconsciously while the agent's attention is otherwise engaged, or while he is in a trance or sleep-like state.
- n. The mental state of the agent during such a performance.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any reaction that occurs automatically without conscious thought or reflection (especially the undirected behavior seen in psychomotor epilepsy)
From Latin automaton, automaton; see automaton.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From automat(on) + -ism. (Wiktionary)