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

They are made of mink, faux mink, sable, silk, cashmere, or synthetic fibers. Beth Teitell, BostonGlobe.com, "When it comes to eyelash extensions, the demand is unreal," 3 July 2019 Pauly D and Vinny understood the synthetic quality of the show. Darren Franich, EW.com, "In praise of the goofy, shocking, endearing Double Shot at Love finale," 28 June 2019 Fentanyl, the synthetic painkiller that has ravaged drug users on the East Coast, is now fully embedded on San Francisco’s streets, surpassing prescription pills and heroin as the leading cause of opioid overdose deaths in the city. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Fentanyl epidemic worsens in San Francisco," 24 June 2019 Fentanyl is largely responsible for the tripling of overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids since 2013, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 2017. Guillermo Contreras, ExpressNews.com, "Leader of deadly San Antonio opioid pill mill pleads guilty," 20 June 2019 The scientists outfitted it with a special tactile sensor called GelSight—a slab of transparent, synthetic rubber that works as an imaging system. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "MIT Teaching Robots to Combine Sight and Touch," 17 June 2019 Cellular components such as the filaments that give cells structure also display collective behavior but are difficult to isolate and purify, while synthetic particles with the right properties are hard to produce. Quanta Magazine, "Swirling Bacteria Linked to the Physics of Phase Transitions," 16 June 2019 Comforters typically are thick and fluffy (making them especially great in colder weather), are covered in a durable fabric, and filled with down or synthetic fibers. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Ultimate Guide to the Duvet Cover," 11 Oct. 2018 If your mat is made of cotton or synthetic fibers, just wash it with your other towels. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Gross Are Your Laundry Habits?," 21 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Instead, opt for hiking socks made from materials like wool or synthetics made to wick away moisture and ease friction. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "14 Essential Hiking Safety Tips You Should Always Follow," 10 May 2019 The Bug Squad recommends using a synthetic pyrethroid spray to kill these pests in your home. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Beware of ‘Kissing Bugs’ This Season—They Can Potentially Cause a Deadly Illness," 25 Apr. 2019 Modern sleeping bags come with natural down insulation or a synthetic option. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "How to Set Up Camp," 2 Apr. 2019 Rat poison has been found in synthetics around Milwaukee. Jennifer Walter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Health Department warning: Severe bleeding linked to synthetic cannabis, cases rising," 25 June 2018 The man who sold the synthetic fentanyl over the Internet that led to a deadly overdose will spend the rest of his life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. David Harris, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Man who sold fentanyl that led to overdose sent to prison for life," 27 Apr. 2018 Now the heroin supply is tainted with the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, "Opioid prescriptions in Michigan are declining, but a crisis still rages," 19 June 2019 The number of deaths blamed on the synthetic opioid more than doubled in three years, reaching 102 deaths in 2018. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Colorado overdose deaths fall for first time since 2012," 10 June 2019 Such an amount of the synthetic opioid would be 20 times higher than what would be appropriate for a patient, depending on their size and circumstance, medical experts say. NBC News, "Case against Ohio doctor charged with killing 25 patients may hinge on former colleagues," 6 June 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

6 Jul 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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