in sil·i·co | \in-ˈsi-li-ˌkō \

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

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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

Each one orchestrates a biochemical ballet, transforming a string of in silico instructions into the company’s first product: a custom Crispr kit. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Biology Will Be the Next Great Computing Platform," 3 May 2018 Finkbeiner and his team call their machine-learning approach in silico labeling, or ISL for short. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "AI Learns a New Trick: Measuring Brain Cells," 12 Apr. 2018 But not everyone is confident about the applications of in silico testing. Arvind Dilawar, Newsweek, "Using Artificial Intelligence to Find Cancer Cures," 12 Oct. 2017

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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in sil·i·co | \in-ˈsi-li-ˌkō \

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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