synthetic

adjective
syn·thet·ic | \ sin-ˈthe-tik \

Definition of synthetic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to or involving synthesis : not analytic the synthetic aspects of a philosophy

2 : attributing to a subject something determined by observation rather than analysis of the nature of the subject and not resulting in self-contradiction if negated — compare analytic

3 : characterized by frequent and systematic use of inflected forms to express grammatical relationships synthetic languages

4a(1) : of, relating to, or produced by chemical or biochemical synthesis especially : produced artificially synthetic drugs synthetic silk

(2) : of or relating to a synfuel

b : devised, arranged, or fabricated for special situations to imitate or replace usual realities

c : factitious, bogus

synthetic

noun

Definition of synthetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something resulting from synthesis rather than occurring naturally especially : a product (such as a drug or plastic) of chemical synthesis

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from synthetic

Adjective

synthetically \sin-ˈthe-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for synthetic

Synonyms: Adjective

artificial, bogus, dummy, ersatz, fake, false, faux, imitation, imitative, man-made, mimic, mock, pretend, sham, simulated, substitute

Antonyms: Adjective

genuine, natural, real

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of synthetic in a Sentence

Adjective

that organic farm doesn't use any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers boots of waterproof synthetic leather

Noun

The drug is a synthetic.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That’s up from 20,000 overdose deaths from synthetic opioids in 2016. Maggie Fox /, NBC News, "New synthetic opioids are killing even more people, CDC says," 11 July 2018 Renovations will include a synthetic turf field and maintenance, an electronic scoreboard, an entry monument, fencing, walkways and signage. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Orange Bowl breaks ground on $3 million Belle Glade football field renovation," 11 July 2018 Shikanov and several researchers in the field are currently crafting artificial ovaries with synthetic polymers and hydrogels, which may afford more precise control over the mechanical properties of the scaffold. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Artificial Ovaries Could Expand Fertility Options For Chemo Patients," 5 July 2018 After two recent deaths in Milwaukee County, officials are warning those who use and those who sell synthetic marijuana products about the drug's dangers. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'This is not marijuana': Fake weed, known as spice or K2, possible cause in 2 Milwaukee County deaths," 3 July 2018 Ruya sparkled in a shiny white costume, rich with synthetic brocade and bright plastic jewels. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "Mother of 3-year-old slain in mass stabbing wants justice for daughter: "She is gone."," 3 July 2018 Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that the Center for Disease Control says is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Fentanyl Is Causing Almost Half of All Overdose Deaths, Research Shows," 2 July 2018 Although some jewelers such as Goldberg may be fairly neutral, extreme views about synthetic diamonds are common. Annabelle Williams, Philly.com, "What do lab-grown diamonds mean for Jewelers Row?," 7 July 2018 The drug trade has grown — cultivation of poppies is up and Mexico has started manufacturing fentanyl and other synthetic drugs — and violence has exploded. Kate Linthicum, latimes.com, "Is amnesty the answer for Mexico's bloody drug war? The country's likely next president thinks it might be," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

People who overdose on the synthetics may need multiple doses of naloxone, the drug that can reverse an overdose, the CDC added. Maggie Fox /, NBC News, "New synthetic opioids are killing even more people, CDC says," 11 July 2018 Last year, synthetics contributed to 57 percent of Cook County’s fatal opioid overdoses, according to the medical examiner’s office. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "'Like finding a needle in a haystack': Agents trying to stop deadly opioid fentanyl from entering U.S. in tough battle," 12 June 2018 The drug in the 2016 overdose, a synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA that was originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, is 85 times more powerful than marijuana. New York Times, "K2 Eyed as Culprit After 14 People Overdose in Brooklyn," 20 May 2018 Papski and Jarvis were allegedly in possession of K2, a synthetic cannabinoid that has been tied to a surge in overdoses last month in the Midwest that caused severe bleeding and, in a few cases, death. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "New London Police: Women Found Unconscious On Church Steps, Under Influence of Hallucinogens, With Infant Beside Them," 6 May 2018 In 2003, Hanly sued Purdue Pharma, which makes the powerful synthetic opioid painkiller OxyContin. Katie Zezima, Anchorage Daily News, "An epic battle over the opioid crisis moves to an Ohio courtroom," 8 Apr. 2018 Magazine; Sittings Editor Jocelyne Beaudoin The strategy involved encasing synthetic pigments in other ingredients so that the synthetics never penetrate the skin. Florence Kane, WSJ, "At Home With the Power Couple Behind New Makeup Line Westman Atelier," 31 Mar. 2018 Methadone is a synthetic opioid that reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms for heroin and other opioids. Michael Botticelli, STAT, "It’s time for methadone to be prescribed as part of primary care," 5 July 2018 Overdose deaths in the state jumped 31 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, with the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl tied to nearly half of the 1,404 deaths in 2016. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Do those real-life addiction stories really keep kids off drugs?," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'synthetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of synthetic

Adjective

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for synthetic

Adjective

Greek synthetikos of composition, component, from syntithenai to put together

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about synthetic

Statistics for synthetic

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for synthetic

The first known use of synthetic was in 1697

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for synthetic

synthetic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of synthetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made by combining different substances : not natural

synthetic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of synthetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something made by combining different artificial substances

synthetic

adjective
syn·thet·ic | \ sin-ˈthe-tik \

Kids Definition of synthetic

: produced artificially especially by chemical means : produced by human beings synthetic diamonds

synthetic

adjective
syn·thet·ic | \ sin-ˈthet-ik \

Medical Definition of synthetic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or produced by chemical or biochemical synthesis especially : produced artificially synthetic drugs synthetic dyes

Other words from synthetic

synthetically \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

synthetic

noun

Medical Definition of synthetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product (as a drug) of chemical synthesis

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on synthetic

What made you want to look up synthetic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!