synthetic

adjective
syn·​thet·​ic | \ sin-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce synthetic (audio) \

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

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

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Other Words from synthetic

Adjective

synthetically \ sin-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce synthetically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for synthetic

Synonyms: Adjective

artificial, man-made, nonnatural

Antonyms: Adjective

natural

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In 2018 though, the beloved host revealed to Entertainment Tonight that her then 14-year-old had experimented with the K2 drug (synthetic cannabinoids). Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "A Timeline of Wendy Williams and Her Soon-to-Be Ex-Husband Kevin Hunter's Relationship," 11 Apr. 2019 The lack of an incumbent giant is one reason why there is so much investor enthusiasm for crypto-currencies and for synthetic biology today. The Economist, "American tech giants are making life tough for startups," 31 May 2018 Her work pulls from tools used in architecture, augmented reality, and synthetic biology—creating art that examines the social, cultural, and emotional effects of these emerging technologies. National Geographic, "This Artist Managed to Bottle the Scent of a Person," 10 May 2018 GH Lab lowdown: Not all chemicals are created equal; plus, every ingredient (natural or synthetic) is made up of chemicals. Good Housekeeping, "The Real Meaning of Clean Beauty, According to Scientists," 11 Apr. 2019 All of their products are free of animal components, parabens, phthalates, sulphates, synthetic fragrances, and GMOs, among others. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "This $85 Face Scrub Completely Transformed My Skin," 7 Jan. 2019 Artificial ingredients, synthetic hormones, and potential contaminants could make conception less likely and may even be harmful to a potential fetus. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "9 Foods to Avoid If You're Trying to Get Pregnant," 17 Apr. 2019 Fabric settings: synthetic, nylon, silk, polyester, blend, wool, linen/cotton Weight: 3 lbs. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Cordless Irons to Buy in 2019, According to Cleaning Experts," 15 Feb. 2019 Lash extensions are semi-permanent, synthetic, faux mink or silk fibers that are applied strand by strand with specially formulated non-irritating glue to your own lashes to enhance your eye shape. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Every Question You've Ever Had About Lash Extensions Answered," 4 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lawyers say up to 100 micrograms of the synthetic opioid would be normal for a patient, depending on their size and the circumstances. NBC News, "Ohio doctor charged with 25 counts of murder, accused of prescribing excessive doses of painkillers," 5 June 2019 Chiodo said the early belief is the drug the men apparently consumed could have been cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that people have been adding to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, "South St. Paul drug overdose scene was ‘overwhelming’," 3 June 2019 In most instances, this means camp is about the theatrical, the synthetic, and the bizarre—all of which are excellent ideas to bring into your accessories this spring. Vogue, "Some Notes on Spring’s Campiest Accessories," 10 Apr. 2019 Fabric settings: synthetic, silk, wool, cotton, linen Weight: 2.2 lbs. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Cordless Irons to Buy in 2019, According to Cleaning Experts," 15 Feb. 2019 Even its flavoring—peppermint in this case—is derived from natural oils, not synthetics. Adam Hurly, GQ, "The Best Toothpaste for Removing Stains, Fixing Your Breath, and Not Getting Gingivitis," 27 Apr. 2018 The leading cause of overdose deaths was non-methadone synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyls that have increasingly supplanted heroin in the illicit market. German Lopez, Vox, "Drug overdose deaths were so bad in 2017, they reduced overall life expectancy," 29 Nov. 2018 Dsuvia contains sufentanil, which is five to 10 times stronger than fentanyl, a synthetic opioid linked to thousands of overdose deaths in North America. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Noting Military Potential, FDA Approves Powerful Painkiller Dsuvia," 2 Nov. 2018 There are more than 100 different varieties — some synthetic, others from natural sources, like coconut or palm oil. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 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.

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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

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Statistics for synthetic

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for synthetic

The first known use of synthetic was in 1697

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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 How to pronounce synthetic (audio) \

Kids Definition of synthetic

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

synthetic

adjective
syn·​thet·​ic | \ sin-ˈthet-ik How to pronounce synthetic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce synthetically (audio) \ adverb

synthetic

noun

Medical Definition of synthetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product (as a drug) of chemical synthesis

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