Automated teller machine – Definition & Meaning

An automated teller machine, commonly known as an ATM, is a machine that allows customers to perform financial transactions such as withdrawing cash, depositing money, checking account balances, and transferring funds between accounts. ATMs have become an essential part of modern banking and have made banking more convenient for customers.


An automated teller machine is an electronic banking outlet that allows customers to complete basic transactions without the aid of a branch representative or teller. The ATM is a self-service machine that can be used to access bank accounts, withdraw cash, and make deposits.


The first ATM was introduced in 1967 by Barclays Bank in London, England. The machine was designed by John Shepherd-Barron and was installed outside a branch of Barclays Bank in Enfield, North London. The first ATM in the United States was installed in 1969 by Chemical Bank in New York City.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an automated teller machine is “a computerized electronic machine that performs basic banking functions (such as handling check deposits or issuing cash withdrawals) and is usually located outside a bank or other financial institution.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines an ATM as “a machine that dispenses cash or performs other banking services when a customer inserts a plastic card and enters a personal identification number.”


ATMs are commonly associated with banks and financial institutions. They are also associated with convenience and accessibility for customers who need to perform banking transactions outside of regular business hours.


Synonyms for automated teller machine include cash machine, cashpoint, bank machine, and ATM machine.


There are no direct antonyms for automated teller machine as it is a specific type of machine with unique functions.

The same root words

The root words for automated teller machine are “automated” and “teller.” Automated refers to the use of technology to perform tasks without human intervention. Teller refers to a bank employee who assists customers with their banking needs.

Example Sentences

  • I need to withdraw some cash from the ATM.
  • The ATM was out of service, so I had to go inside the bank to make a deposit.
  • The ATM charged me a fee for using a non-network bank card.
  • She forgot her PIN number and couldn’t access her account at the ATM.
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