Definition of Auto by Merriam-Webster

au·​to | ˈȯ-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce auto (audio) , ˈä-

Definition of auto

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Definition of auto (Entry 2 of 3)

Definition of auto- (Entry 3 of 3)

Examples of auto in a Sentence


the auto gave people a level of mobility that they had never known before

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Arguably the biggest concern the auto industry has going into 2020 is how much longer the good times will last after years of strong demand and rich pricing.

Gabrielle Coppola,, “Detroit Braces for Year of Slower Sales by Idling Auto Plants,” 16 Apr. 2020
The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that manufacturing output dropped 6.3 percent last month, led by plunging production at auto factories that have entirely shut down., “Holyoke computing center making its power available for free to virus researchers,” 15 Apr. 2020
More than 15 auto-factory workers in the Midwest have died from Covid-19, the United Auto Workers has said.

Mike Colias, WSJ, “Auto Giants Trade Drills for Tweezers in Bid to Rush Coronavirus Ventilators,” 12 Apr. 2020
Workers at unionized American auto plants continue to receive their full pay.

Randy Diamond,, “Toyota extends plant shutdown for two weeks amid virus outbreak,” 8 Apr. 2020
Four million missing cars Most auto factories in the West are sitting idle — at least those that aren’t making ventilators.

New York Times, “Coronavirus Layoffs Are Hitting Start-Ups Hard,” 2 Apr. 2020
On Wednesday, the auto industry started reporting its sales results for the first quarter of 2020.

Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, “The auto industry reports Q1 sales, and they’re really, really bad,” 2 Apr. 2020
Virtually all automakers have halted production of new cars and trucks, as 97% of auto plants in North America and Europe have shut operations, according to research firm GlobalData.

Chris Isidore, CNN, “Car sales are plunging in the US because of coronavirus,” 1 Apr. 2020
But in China, many auto factories have restarted assembly lines and most are back to nearly full production.

Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, “US can learn how to beat coronavirus from China’s best practices,” 31 Mar. 2020
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mexico may agree to proposals that end up requiring somewhat more auto parts to be made in the U.S.

Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, “As Trump Talks Tough on Trade, Worries Mount Over Lack of Action,” 28 May 2018
Those in the coldest climates may want to purchase a battery warmer, available at most auto parts stores or online.

David Muller, Car and Driver, “How Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do about It),” 5 Jan. 2018
Records also showed Harris had called a handful of auto glass repair shops and had searched online for car covers, according to the complaint.

Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Man charged in hit-and-run crash that killed beloved Milwaukee crossing guard Andrew Tyler,” 21 Dec. 2017
Auto critic Mark Phelan contributed to this report.

Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, “View from a tire-burning, 840-horsepower Dodge Demon gives a taste of Roadkill Nights,” 11 Aug. 2017
Auto stop-start can shut down the engine from speeds as high as 14 mph and now uses the camera to read the car’s surroundings.

Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, “2019 Audi A8: Flagship Floats on Active Suspension,” 12 July 2017
Auto hauler and logistics provider Jack Cooper has reached a deal with bondholders to restructure more than $400 million in debt.

Paul Page, WSJ, “Today’s Top Supply Chain and Logistics News From WSJ,” 20 June 2017
A GASKET: Auto parts retailer AutoZone stumbled after its results were weaker than expected.

Marley Jay, The Mercury News, “U.S. stocks inch higher as health care companies gain ground,” 23 May 2017
Auto demand in China has been cooling since Beijing raised a sales tax on small-engine vehicles at the start of the year, putting off drivers from buying cars.

Kelvin Chan, Fox News, “China auto sales shrink in April as demand cools sharply,” 11 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘auto.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of auto


1899, in the meaning defined above


1876, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Auto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Apr. 2020.

More Definitions for auto

au·​to | ˈȯ-tō How to pronounce auto (audio)

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