artificial

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

Definition of artificial

1 :humanly contrived (see contrive 1b) often on a natural model :man-made
  • an artificial limb
  • artificial diamonds
2 a :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
3 a :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

artificiality

play \ˌär-tə-ˌfi-shē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun

artificially

play \-ˈfi-shᵊl-ē\ adverb

artificialness

play \-ˈfi-shəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of artificial in a Sentence

  1. the world's first artificial heart

  2. This product contains no artificial colors natural substances are used.

  3. The country's borders are artificial, and were set with no consideration for the various ethnic groups in the region.

Recent Examples of artificial from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of artificial



ARTIFICIAL Defined for English Language Learners

artificial

adjective

Definition of artificial for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

artificial

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

Definition of artificial for Students

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

artificially

adverb

Medical Dictionary

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

artificially

play \-ˈfish-(ə-)lē\ adverb

Law Dictionary

artificial

adjective ar·ti·fi·cial

legal Definition of artificial

1 a :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

artificially

adverb


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