artificial

adjective
ar·​ti·​fi·​cial | \ˌär-tə-ˈfi-shᵊl \

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 \ noun
artificially \-​ˈfi-​shᵊl-​ē \ adverb
artificialness \-​ˈfi-​shəl-​nəs \ 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

Such a system is often referred to as an artificial general intelligence, or AGI, which is a name that distinguishes the concept from the broader field of study. James Vincent, The Verge, "This is when AI’s top researchers think artificial general intelligence will be achieved," 27 Nov. 2018 Otherwise, over-the-counter artificial tears, gels, and ointments can help. Juno Demelo, Glamour, "4 Times Vision Loss Is About More Than Your Eyes Getting Older," 13 Nov. 2018 Humidity is oppressive, but air conditioning is artificial; snakes and gators are dangerous, but so is the suburban sprawl that threatens their habitat. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 12 Nov. 2018 There’s the reddish-orange candies, which are apple-pie-flavored, and mostly taste of cinnamon with a hint of artificial apple. Maura Judkis, The Seattle Times, "Candy corn controversy? ‘Most-hated’ Halloween treat expands flavors, options," 30 Oct. 2018 Those particles will be captured by the magnetosphere and make it to the ionosphere as artificial aurora. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Group of Scientists Want to Launch a Satellite to Make an Artificial Aurora," 29 Oct. 2018 In the simulations, artificial life-forms compete for limited resources. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 The artificial flavors that have now been banned, the scientific names of which rarely appear on food labels, are typically used to create citrus, mint, and cinnamon flavors. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "FDA Bans Certain Chemicals Often Used to Create Citrus, Mint, and Cinnamon Flavors in Things Like Ice Cream," 9 Oct. 2018 The low-maintenance yard is spacious thanks to a large lot size, while drought-resistant plants complement a custom built Obechi wood bench, poured concrete planters, and low-temperature artificial grass. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Double A-frame Eichler in Northern California asks $2.7M," 25 Sep. 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \ 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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