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

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 The vote has to do with an artificial property tax cap that was signed into law 10 years ago. Barry Sharpe, miamiherald, "Florida’s real estate bubble: We may now know when it will pop | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 The tooth is then sealed with an artificial cap, but this can fail over time as a result of the stresses of chewing. David Cox /, NBC News, "The next revolution in dental care is about to begin," 15 Jan. 2018 While great in theory, solid-body electrics have very different constructions than acoustic guitars and the result means thin and artificial sound compared to the genuine, acoustic item. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Fender's 'Acoustasonic' Is a True Acoustic-Electric Hybrid Guitar," 22 Jan. 2019 But Priestley invented an artificial carbonation process while living next to a brewery in Leeds. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The secret to champagne’s universal appeal is the physics of bubbles," 31 Dec. 2018 The ratios would create an artificial scarcity of nurses, driving up wages and overtime. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Bad Bedside Manner in Massachusetts," 17 Oct. 2018 Nevel said the artificial field, replacing grass, will drain properly once installed. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU football cancels trip to Camp Tontozona due to field-construction delay," 13 July 2018 The secret to the shake’s popularity: artificial scarcity More than 60 million Shamrock Shakes have been sold since 1970, according to Fox News. Tanya Pai, Vox, "Shamrock Shakes, and their cult following, explained," 16 Mar. 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

10 Feb 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 \

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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