Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

in silico

play
adverb or adjective in sil·i·co \in-ˈsi-li-ˌkō\

Definition of in silico

  1. :  in or on a computer :  done or produced by using computer software or simulation <in silico predictions> <dissect a frog in silico>



Did You Know?

In silico literally means "in silicon" in New Latin, and is a nod to the importance of silicon in the creation of computer chips. (The same nod is given in the name "Silicon Valley.") In silico, which dates only to the early 1990s, is modeled on and often contrasted with two similarly-structured terms, both of which date to the pre-computer days right around the start of the 20th century. In vitro means "outside the living body and in an artificial environment." (In New Latin in vitro means "in glass.") In vivo translates as "in the living" in New Latin, and is used in English to mean "in the living body of a plant or animal."

Origin and Etymology of in silico

New Latin, literally, in silicon


First Known Use: 1992


Medical Dictionary

in silico

play
adjective or adverb in sil·i·co \in-ˈsi-li-ˌkō\

Medical Definition of in silico

  1. :  in or on a computer :  done or produced by using computer software or simulation <A structure as complex as the human brain … can't simply be replicated in silico; you can't draw up a blueprint for the myriad interconnections of our billions of neurons.—Steven Johnson, The Nation, 3 Sept. 2001>




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up in silico? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

in the capacity or character of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

frightening massive experimental formless
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ