- made by human skill; produced by humans (opposed to natural): artificial flowers.
- imitation; simulated; sham: artificial vanilla flavoring.
- lacking naturalness or spontaneity; forced; contrived; feigned: an artificial smile.
- full of affectation; affected; stilted: artificial manners; artificial speech.
- made without regard to the particular needs of a situation, person, etc.; imposed arbitrarily; unnatural: artificial rules for dormitory residents.
- Biology. based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics rather than natural, organic relationships: an artificial system of classification.
- Jewelry. manufactured to resemble a natural gem, in chemical composition or appearance.Compare assembled, imitation(def 11), synthetic(def 6).
Origin of artificial
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for artificial
In the end, the line between magic and religion may be something of an artificial one.Harry Potter and the Torah of Terror
Candida Moss, Joel Baden
January 4, 2015
Complete male reproductive independence would also hinge on artificial womb technology, which also made headlines in 2014.Men Will Someday Have Kids Without Women
January 3, 2015
In lieu of a traditional runway, Lagerfeld had the Grand Palais trussed up as an artificial city.The Perils of Glitzy Celebrity Feminism Having a Moment
October 15, 2014
Not all scientists agree that artificial sweeteners are a no-no when it comes to your health and diet.
The market for artificial sweeteners has soared above $1 billion annually in the U.S. alone.
It had grown much too cold to do without some sort of artificial covering.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Artificial flies, like artificial flowers, never should follow nature.
As yet the use of machinery and artificial manure is almost unknown.The Roof of France
It is only the artificial and the complex that bewilder them.The Gorgon's Head
I lead so artificial a life; but then I hope it is a useful one.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- produced by man; not occurring naturallyartificial materials of great strength
- made in imitation of a natural product, esp as a substitute; not genuineartificial cream
- pretended; assumed; insincerean artificial manner
- lacking in spontaneity; affectedan artificial laugh
- biology relating to superficial characteristics not based on the interrelationships of organismsan artificial classification
Word Origin and History for artificial
late 14c., in the phrase artificial day "part of the day from sunrise to sunset," from Old French artificial, from Latin artificialis "of or belonging to art," from artificium (see artifice). Meaning "made by man" (opposite of natural) is from early 15c. Applied to things that are not natural, whether real (artificial light) or not (artificial flowers). Artificial insemination dates from 1897. Artificial intelligence "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines" was coined in 1956.