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

China is rapidly gaining ground on the U.S. in artificial-intelligence research, according to a new report, heightening Beijing’s challenge to its strategic rival in a field deemed critical by the Trump administration. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "China Gains on U.S. in Highly Cited AI Research," 13 Mar. 2019 Reduce screen time Blue light, or artificial blue wavelength lighting emitted by electronic devices, can keep you awake and therefore, disrupt your sleep. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "How to Fall Asleep," 12 Mar. 2019 China's backed up this assertion by building artificial islands in the South China Sea and putting military installations on the Paracel and Spratly Islands. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need to Know About the South China Sea, the World's Next Hot Spot," 27 Feb. 2019 According to The Week, documents posted on the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council website revealed a plan to get rid of an old tennis court on the property, and build a new one with artificial turf. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Anmer Hall, Prince William and Kate Middleton's Country Home," 23 Dec. 2018 That means cool temperatures (50-65 degrees, recommends a horticulture educator at the University of Illinois Extension) and no light (not even artificial). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Christmas Cactus Care: Everything You Need to Know About the Holiday Plant," 1 Aug. 2018 Tests proved him right. Spraying experimental rice plants with artificial acid rain immediately cut their release into the soil of three relevant bacterial foodstuffs—fumaric acid, galactose and glucose. The Economist, "A cheap way to save rice plants from the effects of acid rain," 12 July 2018 Another possibility raised in the paper is that ’Oumuamua’s solar sail is artificial, made by some alien species. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Speculate Interstellar Comet Could Be a Solar Sail," 6 Nov. 2018 Wayfair has thousands of artificial trees that are up to 70% off. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Now Is Actually the Best Time to Buy an Artificial Christmas Tree," 5 Jan. 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

24 Mar 2019

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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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