self, same

Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The Greek prefix auto- means “self.” Good examples using the prefix auto- include automotive and autopilot. An easy way to remember that the prefix auto- means “self” is through the word autobiography, or the history of a person which is written by that person her"self."

Drive Your"self" Through Words with Auto-!

The English prefix auto- means “self.” After this podcast you will be autonomous in that you will be able to figure out all by your"self" what words mean with the prefix auto- in them!

People often want the autograph of a famous person, or the written signature of the person her"self." People also want to read an autobiography of a famous person, or that person’s life history written by the person her"self."

People love to move, and move fast. External power sources, such as horses or mules, were once used to power vehicles. Now, the automobile can move all by it"self," that is, under its own power. Other synonyms for the automobile include automotive and simply auto. When it comes to making automobiles, the process of automation uses robots or machines to assemble most of the autos rolling down the assembly line, thus getting the work done all by them"selves" with little human intervention. Another word for robot is automaton, or a mechanical device which can fully function by it"self" with minimal human interference. Perhaps car factories one day will be fully automated from start to finish, enabling machines to do the job entirely them"selves." If that were to be the case, the factory it"self" would be autonomous, or able to fully rule and conduct it"self" with no outside help whatsoever.

Something even faster than an auto is a plane; planes are often put on autopilot, a function where they are able to fly them"selves," hence temporarily not requiring a human pilot.

When something is done automatically, it is done all by it"self" with no outside prompting. For instance, you can set the thermostat in your house to turn on automatically when the temperature gets too cold or too hot. Another example of something happening automatically is the autofocus function on a camera, which enables the camera to focus all by it"self."

Now you can be fully autocratic or able to rule by your"self" when it comes to words with the Greek prefix auto- in them!

  1. autograph: signature written by a person her"self"
  2. autobiography: life history written by the subject person her"self"
  3. automobile: car that moves by it"self"
  4. automotive: car that moves by it"self"
  5. auto: car that moves by it"self"
  6. automation: process which moves all by it"self"
  7. automaton: robot which moves by it"self"
  8. autonomous: of rule by the “self”
  9. autopilot: a setting on a plane where the plane flies it"self"
  10. automatic: of or pertaining to a process doing something by it"self"
  11. autofocus: a camera function where it focuses it"self"
  12. autocracy: a system of government where individual “selves” rule with no central authority


  • autocratic

    An autocratic person rules with complete power; consequently, they make decisions and give orders to people without asking them for their opinion or advice.

  • tautology

    When you employ a tautology, you needlessly and often unintentionally repeat a similar sense of one word when using other words to describe it, such as in the redundant phrases "free gift" or "usual custom."

  • autonomous

    An autonomous person makes their own decisions without being influenced by anyone else; an autonomous country or organization is independent and has the power to govern itself.

  • autochthonous

    Something autochthonous to an area is native or indigenous to it.

  • autodidact

    An autodidact is a person who teaches themself instead of having a teacher or tutor do so.

  • automatic

    Something automatic works by itself without needing a person to do anything.

  • autobiography

    a biography of yourself

  • autocracy

    a political system governed by a single individual

  • autofocus

    an optical device for focussing a camera or other instrument automatically

  • autograph

    mark with one's signature

  • automate

    make automatic or control or operate automatically

  • automatically

    in a reflex manner

  • automation

    the act of implementing the control of equipment with advanced technology

  • automaton

    someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or apathetic way

  • autonomy

    immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence

  • autopilot

    a cognitive state in which you act without self-awareness

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