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 \ ˌär-​tə-​ˈfi-​shᵊl-​ē How to pronounce artificially (audio) \ adverb
artificialness \ ˌär-​tə-​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 The hands, feet and chest of this patient in an artificial coma were all meaningful to people who shared his life. Washington Post, "These female photographers have created a visual journal of their lives during the pandemic," 27 May 2020 The amount of energy in artificial lighting is vastly less than that in sunshine. The Economist, "Solar’s new power New solar cells extract more energy from sunshine," 23 May 2020 Now a new artificial eye successfully mimics the natural instrument’s spherical shape. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "New Artificial Eye Mimics a Retina’s Natural Curve," 20 May 2020 The participants were guided by Chippewa Garden Club members to fashion brown paper bag trees and to accessorize the trees with artificial vines, flowers, ribbons and shamrocks. cleveland, "BBHHS teacher honors his students with a neighborhood marathon: Talk of the Towns," 14 May 2020 The white ceramic pot is filled with artificial stones that add to the realistic look. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "These Editor-Approved Fake Plants Look Just Like the Real Thing," 14 May 2020 Water had seeped into the electronics, bringing about a less welcome superlative: the deepest-ever artificial explosion was taking place a few feet from his head. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Thirty-six Thousand Feet," 10 May 2020 Meanwhile, the networks are trying to figure the best way to present games played in empty stadiums, including weighing the merits of augmenting broadcasts with artificial crowd noise. Sam Farmerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "With the prospect of empty stadiums, how will the NFL move forward?," 8 May 2020 Covid-19 has even made life difficult for the sellers of artificial blooms. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "A global flower industry crippled by Covid-19 is bracing for Mother’s Day," 1 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for artificial

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for artificial

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Artificial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/artificial. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for artificial

artificial

adjective
How to pronounce artificial (audio)

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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