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

Fabric settings: synthetic, nylon, silk, polyester, blend, wool, linen/cotton Weight: 3 lbs. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Cordless Irons to Buy in 2019, According to Cleaning Experts," 15 Feb. 2019 Lash extensions are semi-permanent, synthetic, faux mink or silk fibers that are applied strand by strand with specially formulated non-irritating glue to your own lashes to enhance your eye shape. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Every Question You've Ever Had About Lash Extensions Answered," 4 Feb. 2019 The 1940 introduction of nylon revolutionized the garment industry, and women flocked to purchase intimates created with the new synthetic material. Vogue, "The True History of the Ultimate Wardrobe Essential—Your Bra," 11 Mar. 2019 The synthetic material is called Cambridge Brush and apparently looks and feels exactly like the real thing. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Best Ethical Clothing Brands Out There," 5 Mar. 2019 The most popular carpet materials are: Nylon: Nylon is the most popular synthetic carpet material due to its durability and versatility. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Best Carpet Types for a Perfectly Grounded Space," 13 Feb. 2019 The prevalent methods to clean up oil spills rely on synthetic materials and dangerous chemicals. Gina Barton, Vox, "How your split ends can help clean oil spills," 13 July 2018 Some contain progestin, a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Truth About Getting Pregnant When You Have an IUD," 27 Dec. 2018 The condition can be treated with conventional surgery using the patient’s own tissue, but the synthetic mesh product is considered more permanent by many surgeons, at least in proper surgical hands. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "FDA Panel Assesses Risks of Women’s Surgical Mesh," 12 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even its flavoring—peppermint in this case—is derived from natural oils, not synthetics. Adam Hurly, GQ, "The Best Toothpaste for Removing Stains, Fixing Your Breath, and Not Getting Gingivitis," 27 Apr. 2018 The leading cause of overdose deaths was non-methadone synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyls that have increasingly supplanted heroin in the illicit market. German Lopez, Vox, "Drug overdose deaths were so bad in 2017, they reduced overall life expectancy," 29 Nov. 2018 Dsuvia contains sufentanil, which is five to 10 times stronger than fentanyl, a synthetic opioid linked to thousands of overdose deaths in North America. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Noting Military Potential, FDA Approves Powerful Painkiller Dsuvia," 2 Nov. 2018 There are more than 100 different varieties — some synthetic, others from natural sources, like coconut or palm oil. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 That's because at the time, there were only two options for falsies: human hair, which gave a natural look (a little too much so for Ghalichi) or synthetic, which is the kind most people reserve for Halloween. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "How Every Celebrity in Hollywood Started Wearing Lilly Lashes," 31 July 2018 Ingredients in the synthetic drug keep blood from clotting and rat poison has been found recently in synthetics around Milwaukee, officials have said. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'This is not marijuana': Fake weed, known as spice or K2, possible cause in 2 Milwaukee County deaths," 3 July 2018 Generally, surgeons use one of two types, a synthetic, or mechanical, device or a biologic one made from cow or pig tissue chemically treated to prevent rejection. — Marlene Cimons, Washington Post, "Heart valve treatment has come a long way since surgeons used only their hands," 10 June 2018 Creative thinkers are hard at work on futuristic fancies like healthier, synthetic — and hangover-free — booze, or electric clothes that vary temperature to fit changing weather and your needs, or sensors to catch potential tooth cavities. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "How your 401(k) stocks harness the power of invention," 11 Mar. 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

13 Apr 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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