from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Automatic pilot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun a device that automatically keeps ships or planes or spacecraft on a steady course.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being.
  • noun A state of mind where one no longer thinks about doing his actions, he just does them seemingly as a second nature
  • verb intransitive, of a vehicle To pilot itself; to drive or travel automatically.

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

  • noun a cognitive state in which you act without self-awareness
  • noun a navigational device that automatically keeps ships or planes or spacecraft on a steady course


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

auto- +‎ pilot


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word autopilot.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Variously referred to by pilots as "AFCS" (automatic flight control system), "Otto" and every now and then "Hey! Why the hell'd it do that?"

    Little known fact: normally, when the visibility for landing is less than 1/2 mile, it is required that the autopilot make the landing (an "autolanding"). The pilots monitor this process and initiate a go around in the event of any autopilot or other aircraft malfunction.

    January 2, 2007

  • Google AutoPilot, seen here. (Tee hee! "Two Gmail accounts can happily converse with each other for up to three messages each.... further messages may commit you to dinner parties or baby namings in which you have no interest.")

    April 1, 2009

  • So, Gmail and Google have two separate April's fools this year?

    April 1, 2009

  • Already cited that at April fool, c_b. Great minds....

    Pro: part of the same joke, I believe.

    April 2, 2009