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

At Stanford, researchers are building synthetic microbiomes from scratch. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Gut check: Benioffs donate $35 million to further study of microbiome at UCSF, Stanford," 13 Aug. 2019 On top of those losses, modern agriculture consumes a lot of fossil fuels to pull plows and manufacture the synthetic nitrogen fertilizers that farmers rely on to coax large harvests from degraded soils. David R. Montgomery, The Conversation, "Restoring soil can help address climate change," 13 Aug. 2019 The products used could include a number of substances, including nicotine, THC, synthetic cannabinoids, or a combination of these. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New cases of severe lung injury in Wisconsin tied to vaping nicotine and THC," 8 Aug. 2019 The plaza will include a 10-story synthetic glass-roofed area that will be the main entrance to the stadium. Dallas News, "American Airlines spending $90 million to put name on plaza outside new L.A. Rams and Chargers stadium," 6 Aug. 2019 Last month, a 35-year-old former corrections officer at the prison pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and admitted to smuggling buprenorphine and synthetic cannabinoids into the prison for two years. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland woman charged with attempting to smuggle opioid treatment drug into Eastern Shore prison," 30 July 2019 Almost 32,000 people in the U.S. overdosed on synthetic opioids like fentanyl last year, according to recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fox News, "Former Mexican cop illegally in US is charged with trafficking enough fentanyl to kill more than 10 million people," 27 July 2019 Using less synthetic fertilizer can cut down on pollution. Jeremy Deaton, Quartz, "Artificial intelligence is transforming the way we farm," 24 July 2019 The same day, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) introduced the DEEPFAKES Accountability Act, the first attempt by Congress to criminalize synthetic media used to deceive, defraud, or destabilize the public. Fortune, "Fighting Deepfakes Gets Real," 24 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As opioid addiction burgeons and more users are exposed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, overdose deaths are widely expected to climb even higher in 2018 and 2019. Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "With opioid abuse surging, expert panel recommends drug screening for all U.S. adults," 13 Aug. 2019 Damon Vincent Jobin, 34, of Huntington Beach is accused of distributing pills containing fentanyl or a derivative of the synthetic opioid. Daily Pilot, "H.B. man pleads not guilty to fentanyl distribution; authorities allege he fled to Thailand before recapture," 8 Aug. 2019 Most deaths in the state are now linked to fentanyl, a cheap synthetic opioid largely produced in illicit labs in China, officials say. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Millions in federal grants come to Maryland to curb opioid-related deaths," 8 Aug. 2019 Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is sometimes cut into cocaine and may be a reason for that sharp increase, Himes, D-4th District, said. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: Plastic bag tax and a Bridgeport casino," 2 Aug. 2019 Antonella Barba, 32, pleaded guilty in a Norfolk court Tuesday after she was caught by a police stakeout in Virginia last year with a large amount of the synthetic opioid. Fox News, "Former 'American Idol' contestant pleads guilty to moving nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl, could face up to 10 years in prison," 31 July 2019 The Virginian-Pilot reports that 32-year-old Antonella Barba pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute a synthetic opioid. Los Angeles Times, "Ex-‘American Idol’ contestant admits to delivering fentanyl," 31 July 2019 Six staff members at the Cheshire Correctional Institute, including four correction officers, were sickened and hospitalized Tuesday amid fears they were exposed to fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Six sickened Cheshire prison employees test negative for exposure to fentanyl, source of illnesses under investigation," 30 July 2019 Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid often sold as a street drug, surpassed prescription opioids in 2015 as the most lethal overdose substance and now is linked to nearly three times as many deaths. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Prescription opioid overdoses drop, as fentanyl deaths skyrocket," 19 July 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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Statistics for synthetic

Last Updated

17 Aug 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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