artificial

adjective
ar·​ti·​fi·​cial | \ ˌär-tə-ˈfi-shᵊl How to pronounce artificial (audio) \

Definition of artificial

1 : humanly contrived (see contrive sense 1b) often on a natural model : man-made an artificial limb artificial diamonds
2a : having existence in legal, economic, or political theory
b : caused or produced by a human and especially social or political agency an artificial price advantage Within these companies, qualified women run into artificial barriers that prevent them from advancing to top positions in management.— James J. Kilpatrick
3a : lacking in natural or spontaneous quality an artificial smile an artificial excitement
b : imitation, sham artificial flavor
4 : based on differential morphological characters not necessarily indicative of natural relationships an artificial key for plant identification
5 obsolete : artful, cunning

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Other Words from artificial

artificiality \ ˌär-​tə-​ˌfi-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce artificiality (audio) \ noun
artificially \ -​ˈfi-​shᵊl-​ē How to pronounce artificially (audio) \ adverb
artificialness \ -​ˈfi-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce artificialness (audio) \ noun

Examples of artificial in a Sentence

the world's first artificial heart This product contains no artificial colors natural substances are used. The country's borders are artificial, and were set with no consideration for the various ethnic groups in the region.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Herr and his team has already made progress: Herr’s friend and fellow mountain climber Jim Ewing used a feedback-capable artificial foot of Herr’s design to successfully climb the mountain where Ewing’s own life-altering injury occurred. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "Why TIME's 2019 Tech Optimists Are Upbeat About Silicon Valley's Future," 7 Aug. 2019 After the caterpillars grew up a bit, the scientists placed them in different boxes containing artificial sticks painted black, brown, green, and white (pictured). Lakshmi Supriya, Science | AAAS, "These caterpillars can camouflage themselves, even when blindfolded," 7 Aug. 2019 Gold has many uses, and the newest ultra-thin gold could be the foundation of artificial enzymes used in rapid medical diagnostic tests and even purification systems for water. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Scientists just created the world's thinnest gold and it's two atoms thick," 6 Aug. 2019 Without a service like Cloudflare, 8chan is vulnerable to a DDoS attack, in which hackers try to overload the site with artificial traffic. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "Why Hate Site 8chan Is So Hard to Knock Offline," 5 Aug. 2019 Users can also respond out loud using artificial voice technology. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "This Device Can Hear the Voice Inside Your Head," 5 Aug. 2019 Offensive notes, too, don’t help, such as artificial materials like peach or calone, or anything overtly feminine or masculine. Andrea Cheng, Condé Nast Traveler, "How a Hotel Gets Its Signature Scent," 2 Aug. 2019 Natural or artificial light prompts the creation of defensive toxins called glycoalkaloids that can cause digestive distress, headaches and neurological issues if consumed in significant volumes. Washington Post, "Sprouting onions and scarred tomatoes: How to tell whether fading produce is still safe to eat," 25 July 2019 Those made of lacquer or tea paper can magnify or soften both the natural and artificial light in a space. Michelle Brunner, Twin Cities, "Room dividers — and all their old-Hollywood charm — are back," 15 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'artificial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of artificial

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for artificial

see artifice

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Statistics for artificial

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for artificial

The first known use of artificial was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for artificial

artificial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of artificial

: not natural or real : made, produced, or done to seem like something natural
: not happening or existing naturally : created or caused by people
: not sincere

artificial

adjective
ar·​ti·​fi·​cial | \ ˌär-tə-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce artificial (audio) \

Kids Definition of artificial

1 : made by humans an artificial lake
2 : not natural in quality an artificial smile
3 : made to seem like something natural artificial flowers artificial flavoring

Other Words from artificial

artificially adverb

artificial

adjective
ar·​ti·​fi·​cial | \ ˌärt-ə-ˈfish-əl How to pronounce artificial (audio) \

Medical Definition of artificial

1 : humanly contrived often on a natural model an artificial limb
2 : based on differential morphological characters not necessarily indicative of natural relationships an artificial key for identification of a group of organisms

Other Words from artificial

artificially \ -​ˈfish-​(ə-​)lē How to pronounce artificially (audio) \ adverb

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artificial

adjective
ar·​ti·​fi·​cial

Legal Definition of artificial

1a : made by humans artificial accessions — compare natural
b : caused or produced by a human and especially social or political agency an artificial price advantage
2 : arising through operation of law

Other Words from artificial

artificially adverb

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Comments on artificial

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