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
in silico was our Word of the Day on 10/19/2013. Hear the podcast!
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."
Origin and Etymology of in silico
New Latin, literally, in silicon
First Known Use: 1992
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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