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

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 The resolutions or ordinances passed by Santa Cruz, Oakland and Denver don't apply to drugs such as LSD or MDMA, which are synthetic. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Santa Cruz decriminalizes magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics, making it the third US city to take such a step," 30 Jan. 2020 Traditionally, scientists have found disease treatments by screening hundreds of thousands of small synthetic or natural molecules, going through a long trial-and-error process to see if any of them have therapeutic benefits. Scientific American, "The Power of Spheres," 25 Dec. 2019 At a time when vastly more sounds — acoustic, electric, synthetic, processed — are available than at any time in history, such a narrow palette feels like a musical hunger strike. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Pop Music in 2019: An Escape From Isolation?," 25 Dec. 2019 Equally important is what they are formulated without: parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, synthetic dyes and fragrances, and dozens of other red-flag ingredients. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "Philosophy Is Launching Nature in a Jar, a New Natural Skin-Care Line," 13 Dec. 2019 Caffeine pills can be made of natural or synthetic caffeine. Jenna Wirth, Health.com, "What Are Caffeine Pills—And Are They Safe?," 4 Dec. 2019 This cordless opener works for both natural and synthetic corks. Popular Science, "Just four excellent wine bottle openers," 8 Nov. 2019 Rubber is also considered plastic, both natural (isoprene) and synthetic (styrene butadiene). Los Angeles Times, "The biggest likely source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Our car tires," 2 Oct. 2019 The chemicals may be synthetic or derived from cannabis, hemp, plants, or fruits. BostonGlobe.com, "“The rise in vaping-associated illnesses is a frightening public health phenomenon,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week, adding that he was “starting an investigation into some of these companies that produce vaping substances to find out what’s in it.”," 12 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The synthetic opioid, originally developed as an anesthetic for surgery, is the deadliest drug in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "This Ohio county may need a second morgue to handle the number of fentanyl overdoses," 13 Feb. 2020 Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that's about 50 times stronger than heroin. Connor Van Ligten, azcentral, "Phoenix police arrest man with 137,000 fentanyl pills, 38 pounds of meth, 9 weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo," 31 Jan. 2020 The Federation has also outlawed synthetics after a group went rogue on Mars and blew up the planet. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Patrick Stewart soars high in stellar 'Star Trek: Picard'," 23 Jan. 2020 Despite its considerable mass, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid's turn-in response remains sharp, although the steering feels a tad synthetic. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Is Large and in Charge," 7 Jan. 2020 It’s also key to stick to wool or synthetics for socks and underwear. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "7 Tips for Packing All the Right Clothing for Your First Backpacking Trip," 24 Oct. 2018 Tanguay suspected the trio could have unwittingly taken fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that has ravaged the United States in recent years. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Synthetic opioids like fentanyl ravaged the US during the last decade. They may do even more damage to Asia in the next," 29 Dec. 2019 When Mount Carmel, one of the largest hospital systems in central Ohio, hired Husel in 2013, hospital doctors were commonly ordering a synthetic opioid known as fentanyl to relieve acute pain. NBC News, "Nurses defend Ohio doctor accused of murdering 25 patients in lawsuit against hospital," 19 Dec. 2019 Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be up to 50 times as potent as heroin. Nadia Kounang, CNN, "There are fewer suicides related to opioids than previously believed, research says," 17 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for synthetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of synthetic was in 1697

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Statistics for synthetic

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synthetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synthetic. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for synthetic

synthetic

adjective
How to pronounce synthetic (audio)

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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