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

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Other Words from synthetic

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for synthetic

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Adjective

genuine, natural, real

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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 clothes were pretreated with permethrin, a synthetic form of an insect-thwarting compound from the chrysanthemum flower. Amy Norton, chicagotribune.com, "To repel ticks, try insecticide-treated clothes this summer," 30 May 2018 Permethrin is a synthetic form of an insecticidal compound that comes from chrysanthemums. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Tick-repelling clothes might actually stop the little blood-suckers, CDC says | The Kansas City Star," 24 May 2018 Retinyl Palmitate is a synthetic form of vitamin A that may be toxic to pregnant women. Julie Gerstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Secret Lipstick Ingredients RevealedYour Perfect Shade Is... 'Retinyl Palmitate Red'?," 8 Feb. 2010 Get cozy around the campfire with this outdoors-chic, alpaca-synthetic-blend blanket that’s durable and machine-washable. Sara Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "7 fun additions for your camping kit," 2 July 2018 Lately, there’s been an upsurge of interest and experimentation around synthetic fuels. David Roberts, Vox, "Sucking carbon out of the air won’t solve climate change," 14 June 2018 The choice between using carnauba or polymer wax is similar to choosing synthetic or regular engine oil. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Wash Your Car Like a Pro," 9 Nov. 2017 Pills put addicts on a path to heroin, which is cheaper and more dangerous, and fentanyl — a synthetic drug that is even more deadly than heroin. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Doctor fraud crackdown on opioid epidemic involves Louisville," 28 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 47-year-old Toronto resident has overdosed five times in the past four years after injecting the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Vipal Monga, WSJ, "Ontario Promotes Free Use of Opioid Antidote," 24 June 2018 Nearly every friend of mine that battled opioid addiction started with OxyContin and progressed to more dangerous but chemically similar street drugs like heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Alex Hogan, STAT, "“Runnin’”: a new documentary from STAT," 22 May 2018 The synthetic cannabinoids were found to contain rat poison and most of the hospitalizations were related to unexplained bleeding, such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, bloody nose and bleeding gums. Marlena Baldacci And Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "NYPD warns of toxic batch of fake weed K2 after overdoses," 22 May 2018 Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Monroe Trombly, Cincinnati.com, "Sinaloa cartel tied to Middletown fentanyl ring for first time, feds say," 8 Mar. 2018 Two drugs with opposite effects — cocaine and the synthetic opioid fentanyl — are contributing to more overdose deaths in Philadelphia. Aubrey Whelan, Philly.com, "Cocaine-fentanyl deaths in Philly show fatal unpredictability in drug supply," 20 Feb. 2018 Over the course of two months, investigators seized packages containing the synthetic opioid tramadol that Cakmis was allegedly sending and receiving at the Hoonah post office. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Hoonah man charged with shipping opioid tramadol across Alaska," 16 Feb. 2018 Print’s Not Dead With new designers eager to mine the archives of classic fashion houses, retro, graphic prints on silk and synthetics clamored for attention. Rebecca Malinsky And Rory Satran, WSJ, "A Complete Guide to Fall’s Best Women’s Fashion Trends," 9 Mar. 2018 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

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

9 Nov 2018

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 \

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

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