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 synthetic (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 Though wood still plays an important role in the construction of our homes — think two-by-four stud supports and plywood in walls, flooring and roofing — our eye most often falls on exteriors covered in synthetic materials like vinyl siding. Washington Post, "How wood shaped human history, from spears to boats to books," 31 Dec. 2020 Professional brushes usually have bristles made of animal hair, but kids’ brush sets use synthetic materials for their bristles, with nylon a common option. Jennifer Blair, chicagotribune.com, "The best kids’ paint brush set," 22 Dec. 2020 Instead, think synthetic materials such as polyester. John Perritano, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Ice Fishing," 22 Dec. 2020 Loops masks are compostable, cruelty-free and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "8 best under eye patches for dark circles, puffiness and lines," 4 Nov. 2020 Clean and quench your curls with gentle shampoos and conditioner, such as Alaffia's EveryDay Coconut shampoo and EveryDay Coconut conditioner, both crafted with virgin coconut oil and no artificial colors or synthetic fragrances. Sabina Wizemann, Good Housekeeping, "How to Figure Out Your Curly Hair Type — And Why It Matters," 10 July 2020 Even as pharmaceutical companies step toward a synthetic alternative, blue-blood mythology grows. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "How the coronavirus vaccine relies on Maryland’s strangest fishery: horseshoe crabs," 31 Dec. 2020 Government measures to contain the virus had fouled up its operations, interrupting the supply of chemicals for manufacturing synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine and cutting off trafficking routes across international borders. New York Times, "Hit Hard by the Pandemic, Mexico’s Drug Cartels Tweaked Their Playbook," 29 Dec. 2020 Nowadays, cannabis makes up only a small percentage of the gangs’ profits, whose main sources of income are cocaine, synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and gasoline theft. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Mexico Set to Become World’s Largest Legal Cannabis Market," 29 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Indianapolis drug maker Eli Lilly and Company decided to test all its new medications with the synthetic. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "How the coronavirus vaccine relies on Maryland’s strangest fishery: horseshoe crabs," 31 Dec. 2020 The decision frustrated Ryan Phelan, director of Revive & Restore, a California wildlife conservation group that lobbied for the synthetic. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "How the coronavirus vaccine relies on Maryland’s strangest fishery: horseshoe crabs," 31 Dec. 2020 The more expensive groups are more highly processed, in some cases with methods that produce a lubricant that can be classified as a synthetic. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 31 Aug. 2020 The synthetic will be listed in a separate chapter with different data requirements. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Crab Blood Can Save Your Life, but Not the Synthetic Stuff," 4 June 2020 The synthetic is 50 times more potent than heroin and legally used to help cancer patients in pain. John Caniglia, cleveland, "A devastating trend: Fentanyl-laced cocaine overdoses raise major concerns across Ohio, new analysis shows," 29 Dec. 2019 Soon, bristles also succumbed to the siren song of synthetics. National Geographic, "How your toothbrush became a part of the plastic crisis," 14 June 2019 Full Synthetic Oil: The oils made for high-tech engines, whether in a Chevy Corvette or Mercedes-Benz, are full of synthetics. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 14 Feb. 2019 Polyester is often very difficult, if not impossible, to recycle into new yarns, and fabrics made from a cocktail of synthetics are off the table, too. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Did Marie Kondo Inspire You to Clean Out Your Closet This Weekend? Here Are the 5 Best Ways to Do It," 18 Jan. 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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Synthetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synthetic. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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 synthetic (audio) \ adverb

synthetic

noun

Medical Definition of synthetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product (as a drug) of chemical synthesis

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Comments on synthetic

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