auto- Look up auto- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "self, one's own, by oneself," from Greek auto- "self, one's own," combining form of autos "self, same," of unknown origin. Before a vowel, aut-; before an aspirate, auth-. In Greek also used as a prefix to proper names, as in automelinna "Melinna herself." The opposite prefix would be allo-.
auto-da-fe (n.) Look up auto-da-fe at Dictionary.com
1723, "sentence passed by the Inquisition" (plural autos-da-fé), from Portuguese auto-da-fé "judicial sentence, act of the faith," especially the public burning of a heretic, from Latin actus de fide, literally "act of faith." Although the Spanish Inquisition is better-known today, there also was one in Portugal.
auto-erotic (adj.) Look up auto-erotic at Dictionary.com
1898, coined by Havelock Ellis from auto- + erotic. Related: Auto-eroticism.
autobahn (n.) Look up autobahn at Dictionary.com
1937, German, from auto "motor car, automobile" + bahn "path, road," from Middle High German ban, bane "way, road," literally "strike" (as a swath cut through), from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane).
autobiography (n.) Look up autobiography at Dictionary.com
1797, from auto- + biography. Related: Autobiographical.
autocade (n.) Look up autocade at Dictionary.com
1922, from auto(mobile) + ending from cavalcade.
autocar (n.) Look up autocar at Dictionary.com
1895, from auto- + car.
Which is it to be? We observe that the London Times has lent the weight of its authority to the word "autocar," which it now prints without the significant inverted commas but with a hyphen, "auto-car." We believe that the vocable originated with a journal called the Hardwareman, which succeeded in obtaining the powerful support of the Engineer for its offspring. As for ourselves, being linguistic purists, we do not care for hybrid constructions--"auto" is Greek, while "car" is Latin and Celtic. At the same time, such clumsy phrases as "horseless carriages," "mechanical road carriages," and "self-propelled vehicles" are not meeting with general favour. Why not therefore adopt the philogically sound "motor-car," which could be run into a single word, "motorcar"? ["The Electrical Engineer," Dec. 20, 1895]
autochthon (n.) Look up autochthon at Dictionary.com
1640s, "one sprung from the soil he inhabits" (plural autochthones), from Greek autokhthon "aborigines, natives," literally "sprung from the land itself," used of the Athenians and others who claimed descent from the Pelasgians, from auto- "self" (see auto-) + khthon "land, earth, soil" (see chthonic).
autochthonic (adj.) Look up autochthonic at Dictionary.com
1827, from autochthon + -ic.
autochthonous (adj.) Look up autochthonous at Dictionary.com
"native, indigenous," 1845, from autochthon + -ous.
autoclave (n.) Look up autoclave at Dictionary.com
1880, from French, literally "self-locking," from auto- "self" (see auto-) + Latin clavis "key" (see slot (n.2)).
autocracy (n.) Look up autocracy at Dictionary.com
1650s, "independent power, self-sustained power," from French autocratie, from Greek autokrateia "ruling by oneself," noun of state from autokrates (see autocrat). Meaning "absolute government, supreme political power" is recorded from 1855.
autocrat (n.) Look up autocrat at Dictionary.com
1803, from French autocrate, from Greek autokrates "ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic," from autos- "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule," from kratos "strength, power" (see -cracy). First used by Robert Southey, with reference to Napoleon. An earlier form was autocrator (1789), used in reference to the Russian Czars. Earliest form in English is the fem. autocratress (1762).
autocratic (adj.) Look up autocratic at Dictionary.com
1823, from French autocratique, from autocrate, from Greek autokrates (see autocrat). Earlier autocratoric (1670s) was directly from Greek autokratorikos. Autocratical is attested from 1801.
autodidact (n.) Look up autodidact at Dictionary.com
1746, from Greek autodidaktos "self-taught" (see autodidactic).
autodidactic (adj.) Look up autodidactic at Dictionary.com
"self-taught," 1838, from Greek autodidaktikos "self-taught," from autos "self" (see auto-) + didaktos "taught" (see didactic).
autogenous (adj.) Look up autogenous at Dictionary.com
"self-generated," 1846, earlier autogeneal (1650s), from Greek autogenes "self-produced," from autos "self" (see auto-) + genes "formation, creation" (see genus). Modern form and biological use of the word said to have been coined by English paleontologist Richard Owen (1804-1892).
autograph (n.) Look up autograph at Dictionary.com
"a person's signature," 1791, from Latin autographum, from Greek autographon, neuter of autographos "written with one's own hand," from autos- "self" (see auto-) + graphein "to write" (originally "to scratch;" see -graphy). Used earlier (1640s) to mean "author's own manuscript."
autograph (v.) Look up autograph at Dictionary.com
"to sign one's name," 1837, from autograph (n.). Related: Autographed; autographing. Earlier "to write with one's own hand" (1818).
autoharp (n.) Look up autoharp at Dictionary.com
1882, name on a patent taken out by Charles F. Zimmermann of Philadelphia, U.S.A., for an improved type of harp, an instrument considerably different from the modern autoharp, actually a chord zither, which was invented about the same time by K.A. Gütter of Markneukirchen, Germany, who called it a Volkszither.
autoimmune (adj.) Look up autoimmune at Dictionary.com
1952, from auto- + immune.
autolatry (n.) Look up autolatry at Dictionary.com
"self-worship," 1620s (in Latinate form autolatria), from auto- + -latry.
automaker (n.) Look up automaker at Dictionary.com
"manufacturer of automobiles," 1925, from auto + maker.
automat (n.) Look up automat at Dictionary.com
"automated cafeteria," 1903, probably from automatic.
automate (v.) Look up automate at Dictionary.com
"to convert to automatic operation," 1954, back-formation from automated (q.v.). Ancient Greek verb automatizein meant "to act of oneself, to act unadvisedly." Related: Automating.
automated (adj.) Look up automated at Dictionary.com
1952, American English, adjective based on automation.
automatic (adj.) Look up automatic at Dictionary.com
"self-acting, moving or acting on its own," 1812, from Greek automatos, used of the gates of Olympus and the tripods of Hephaestus (also "without apparent cause, by accident"), from autos "self" (see auto-) + matos "thinking, animated" (see automaton). Of involuntary animal or human actions, from 1748, first used in this sense by English physician and philosopher David Hartley (1705-1757). In reference to a type of firearm, from 1877; specifically of machinery that imitates human-directed action from 1940.
automatic (n.) Look up automatic at Dictionary.com
"automatic weapon," 1902, from automatic (adj.). Meaning "motorized vehicle with automatic transmission" is from 1949.
automatically (adv.) Look up automatically at Dictionary.com
1834, "involuntarily, unconsciously;" see automatic + -ly (2).
automation (n.) Look up automation at Dictionary.com
1948, in the manufacturing sense, coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder, from automatic + -ion. Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.
automatization (n.) Look up automatization at Dictionary.com
1924, noun of action from automatize.
automatize (v.) Look up automatize at Dictionary.com
1837, "to make into an automaton;" see automaton + -ize. Meaning "to make automatic" attested by 1952. Related: Automatized; automatizing.
automaton (n.) Look up automaton at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin automaton (Suetonius), from Greek automaton, neuter of automatos "self-acting," from autos "self" (see auto-) + matos "thinking, animated, willing," from PIE *mn-to-, from root *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)).
automobile (adj.) Look up automobile at Dictionary.com
1883, in reference to electric traction cars, from French automobile (adj.), 1861, a hybrid from Greek autos "self" (see auto-) + French mobile "moving," from Latin mobilis "movable" (see mobile (adj.)).
automobile (n.) Look up automobile at Dictionary.com
"self-propelled motor vehicle," 1895, from French automobile, short for véhicule automobile (see automobile (adj.)). The modern Greek calls it autokineto "moved of itself." The French word had competition in the early years from locomobile; in English other early forms were motorcar and autocar. An electrical car was an electromobile (1899).
automotive (adj.) Look up automotive at Dictionary.com
1865, in reference to some sort of helicopter-like device, a hybrid from auto- "self," from Greek, + motive (adj.), from Latin. Meaning "pertaining to automobiles" is from 1898.
autonomic (adj.) Look up autonomic at Dictionary.com
1832, "pertaining to autonomy" (q.v.); used mostly in physiology. Autonomical is recorded from 1650s.
autonomous (adj.) Look up autonomous at Dictionary.com
1800, from Greek autonomos "having one's own laws," of animals, "feeding or ranging at will," from autos "self" (see auto-) + nomos "law" (see numismatics). Compare privilege. Used mostly in metaphysics and politics; see autonomic.
autonomy (n.) Look up autonomy at Dictionary.com
1620s, of states, from Greek autonomia "independence," noun of quality from autonomos "independent, living by one's own laws," from auto- "self" (see auto-) + nomos "custom, law" (see numismatics). Of persons, from 1803.
autophobia (n.) Look up autophobia at Dictionary.com
"fear of referring to oneself," 1845 (as autophoby), from Greek autos "self" (see auto-) + -phobia "fear." Related: Autophobic; autophobe.
autopilot (n.) Look up autopilot at Dictionary.com
1935, from auto- + pilot (n.).
autopsy (n.) Look up autopsy at Dictionary.com
1650s, "an eye-witnessing," from Modern Latin autopsia, from Greek autopsia "a seeing with one's own eyes," from autos- "self" (see auto-) + opsis "a sight" (see eye (n.)). Sense of "dissection of a body to determine cause of death" is first recorded 1670s, probably from the same sense in French autopsie (1570s).
autosome (n.) Look up autosome at Dictionary.com
coined 1906 by U.S. cytologist T.H. Montgomery (1873-1912), from auto- + -some (3)). Related: Autosomal.
autosuggestion (n.) Look up autosuggestion at Dictionary.com
also auto-suggestion, 1879, a hybrid from auto- + suggestion. The idea, and probably the model for the word, originally from French.
autotheism (n.) Look up autotheism at Dictionary.com
"self-deification," 1610s, from auto- + theism. The religion of one who mistakes his own inner voices for God's voice in him. Also used in a theological sense (1580s) for "the regarding of the second person of the Trinity as God entire." Related: Autotheist.
autumn (n.) Look up autumn at Dictionary.com
late 14c., autumpne (modern form from 16c.), from Old French autumpne, automne (13c.), from Latin autumnus (also auctumnus, perhaps influenced by auctus "increase"), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Etruscan, but Tucker suggests a meaning "drying-up season" and a root in *auq- (which would suggest the form in -c- was the original) and compares archaic English sere-month "August."

Harvest was the English name for the season until autumn began to displace it 16c. In Britain, the season is popularly August through October; in U.S., September through November. Compare Italian autunno, Spanish otoño, Portuguese outono, all from the Latin word. Unlike the other three seasons, its names across the Indo-European languages leave no evidence that there ever was a common word for it.

Many "autumn" words mean "end, end of summer," or "harvest." Compare also Lithuanian ruduo "autumn," from rudas "reddish," in reference to leaves; Old Irish fogamar, literally "under-winter."
autumnal (adj.) Look up autumnal at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Latin autumnalis "pertaining to autumn," from autumnus (see autumn).
auxiliary (adj.) Look up auxiliary at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Latin auxiliaris "helpful," from auxilium "aid, help, support," related to auctus, past participle of augere "to increase" (see augment).
auxiliary (n.) Look up auxiliary at Dictionary.com
"foreign troops in service of a nation at war," c.1600, from auxiliary (adj.). Related: Auxiliaries.
auxin (n.) Look up auxin at Dictionary.com
plant growth hormone, 1934, from German (1931), from Greek auxein "to increase" (see augment) + chemical suffix -in (2).