in silico

adverb or adjective
in sil·​i·​co | \ in-ˈsi-li-ˌkō How to pronounce in silico (audio) \

Definition of in silico

: in or on a computer : done or produced by using computer software or simulation in silico predictions dissect a frog in silico

Did you know?

In silico literally means "in silicon" in New Latin, and is a nod to the importance of silicon in the creation of computer chips. (The same nod is given in the name "Silicon Valley.") In silico, which dates only to the early 1990s, is modeled on and often contrasted with two similarly-structured terms, both of which date to the pre-computer days right around the start of the 20th century. In vitro means "outside the living body and in an artificial environment." (In New Latin in vitro means "in glass.") In vivo translates as "in the living" in New Latin, and is used in English to mean "in the living body of a plant or animal."

Examples of in silico in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Biotech entrepreneurs now routinely utilize in silico modeling and contract research organizations to conduct early-stage experiments. Neil Littman, Forbes, 16 June 2021 Jonathan Lynch, a plant physiologist at The Pennsylvania State University and another founder of the crops in silico movement, looks at root behavior under a range of soil nutrient conditions. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, 18 Aug. 2017 Beyond speeding results and mitigating the risks of clinical trials, in silico medicine can be used in place of risky interventions that are required for diagnosing or planning treatment of certain medical conditions. Daniel E. Hurtado, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2020 The philosophy behind in silico medicine is not new. Daniel E. Hurtado, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2020 Silver and colleagues might phrase this explicitly by highlighting the in silico nature of the forecasts: His predictions aren’t for the world as is, but are based on data that might reflect voter behavior. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, 10 Nov. 2020 His lab combines a machine learning platform that generates new molecules in silico with a synthesizer that prints out these new molecules for a pipetting robot, which then performs experiments on them. Quanta Magazine, 9 Mar. 2020 For all its apparent power, in silico work will not replace in vitro testing — and certainly not clinical trials. Quanta Magazine, 9 Mar. 2020 Levy’s book about the science and nuance of life creation in silico. New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'in silico.' 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 in silico

1992, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for in silico

New Latin, literally, in silicon

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The first known use of in silico was in 1992

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Cite this Entry

“In silico.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/in%20silico. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for in silico

in silico

adjective or adverb
in sil·​i·​co | \ in-ˈsi-li-ˌkō How to pronounce in silico (audio) \

Medical Definition of in silico

: in or on a computer : done or produced by using computer software or simulation A structure as complex as the human brain … can't simply be replicated in silico; you can't draw up a blueprint for the myriad interconnections of our billions of neurons.— Steven Johnson, The Nation, 3 Sept. 2001

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