Etymology
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self-acting (adj.)

1740, "acting by itself;" see self- + acting (adj.). The mechanical sense of "contrived for superseding manipulation in the management of a machine" is by 1844.

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Definitions of self-acting

self-acting (adj.)
designed to activate or move or regulate itself;
Synonyms: self-activating / self-moving / self-regulating
From wordnet.princeton.edu