Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to auto-

autarchy (n.)
1660s, "absolute sovereignty," from Latinized form of Greek autarkhia, from autarkhein "to be an absolute ruler," from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon).
Advertisement
autarky (n.)
1610s, "self-sufficiency," from Greek autarkeia "sufficiency in oneself, independence," from autarkes "self-sufficient, having enough, independent of others" (also used of countries), from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkein "to ward off, keep off," also "to be strong enough, sufficient" (see archon). From a different Greek source than autarchy, and thus the distinct spelling. As a term in international economics, prominent late 1930s. Related: Autarkic.
authentic (adj.)
Origin and meaning of authentic

mid-14c., autentik, "authoritative, duly authorized" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French autentique "authentic; canonical" (13c., Modern French authentique) and directly from Medieval Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos "original, genuine, principal," from authentes "one acting on one's own authority," from autos "self" (see auto-) + hentes "doer, being," from PIE root *sene- (2) "to accomplish, achieve." Sense of "real, entitled to acceptance as factual" is first recorded mid-14c.

Traditionally in modern use, authentic implies that the contents of the thing in question correspond to the facts and are not fictitious (hence "trustworthy, reliable"); while genuine implies that the reputed author is the real one and that we have it as it left the author's hand (hence "unadulterated"); but this is not always maintained: "The distinction which the 18th c. apologists attempted to establish between genuine and authentic ... does not agree well with the etymology of the latter word, and is not now recognized" [OED].

autism (n.)

1912, from German Autismus, coined 1912 by Swiss psychiatrist Paul Bleuler from Greek autos "self" (see auto-) + -ismos suffix of action or of state. The notion is of "morbid self-absorption."

autobiography (n.)
"a memoir of a person written by himself," 1797, from auto- + biography. Related: Autobiographical; autobiographer; autobiographic.
autocar (n.)

"car which contains in itself a motor and a source of power," 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]

Compare automobile.

autochthon (n.)

1640s, "one sprung from the soil he inhabits" (plural autochthones), from Latinized form of Greek autokhthon "aborigines, natives, primitive inhabitants," literally "sprung from the land itself," used of the Athenians and others who claimed descent from the Pelasgians, from autos "self" (see auto-) + khthōn "land, earth, soil" (from PIE root *dhghem- "earth").

autoclave (n.)

"stewing apparatus the lid of which is kept closed and tight by the steam itself," 1847, from French (1821), literally "self-locking," from auto- "self" (see auto-) + clave, from Latin clavis "key" (from PIE root *klau- "hook").

autocracy (n.)
1650s, "independent power, self-sustained power, self-government" (obsolete), from French autocratie, from Latinized form of Greek autokrateia "absolute rule, rule by oneself," abstract noun from autokrates "ruling by oneself," from autos "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule" (see -cracy). Meaning "absolute government, unlimited political power invested in a single person" is recorded from 1855.
autocrat (n.)
1800, used in reference to the Russian tsars, then to Napoleon, from French autocrate, from Latinized form of Greek autokrates "ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic," from autos "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule," from kratos "strength, power" (see -cracy). The Greek noun was autokrator, and an earlier form in English was autocrator (1759). Earliest forms in English were the fem. autocratress (1762), autocratrix (1762), autocratrice (1767, from French).