- 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
- 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 artificialness'
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.