- of, pertaining to, proceeding by, or involving synthesis (opposed to analytic).
- noting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin: synthetic vitamins; synthetic fiber.
- (of a language) characterized by a relatively widespread use of affixes, rather than separate words, to express syntactic relationships: Latin is a synthetic language, while English is analytic.Compare analytic(def 3), polysynthetic(def 1).
- Also syn·thet·i·cal. Logic. of or relating to a noncontradictory proposition in which the predicate is not included in, or entailed by, the subject.
- not real or genuine; artificial; feigned: a synthetic chuckle at a poor joke.
- noting a gem mineral manufactured so as to be physically, chemically, and optically identical with the mineral as found in nature.
- (not in technical use) noting a gem mineral manufactured and pigmented in imitation of a natural gemstone of that name.
- something made by a synthetic, or chemical, process.
- substances or products made by chemical synthesis, as plastics or artificial fibers.
- the science or industry concerned with such products.
Origin of synthetic
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for synthetic
One key ingredient of the stuff: Propylene glycol, a synthetic liquid that absorbs water.Europeans Recall Fireball Whiskey Over a Sweetener Also Used in Antifreeze
October 28, 2014
The Illinois legislation does not include bioplastics like PHA, defining the banned microplastics to be of the synthetic type.Your Favorite Facewash Is Hurting Nemo
Alexa C. Kurzius
June 18, 2014
But the arguments over drug testing may cease to matter if the synthetic drug epidemic continues.
With more than 300 synthetic cannabinoids in use today, drug-testing companies are struggling to keep up with the new varieties.
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute produced the first living organism with synthetic bacteria this May.Synthetic DNA: The New Drug Makers?
May 18, 2014
Synthetic foods there were for at least a hundred Martian days.
Genius is synthetic, elliptic, sudden, but always clear and sure.The Goat-gland Transplantation
Sydney B. Flower
Phillips had a logical mind and a capacity for synthetic induction.The Island Mystery
George A. Birmingham
No mention now of the Eurasian exemplar, the synthetic "over-man."Dreamers of the Ghetto
He proves the importance of synthetic registration in peoples.Adventures in the Arts
- (of a substance or material) made artificially by chemical reaction
- not genuine; insinceresynthetic compassion
- denoting languages, such as Latin, whose morphology is characterized by synthesisCompare polysynthetic, agglutinative (def. 2), analytic (def. 3)
- a synthetic substance or material
Word Origin and History for synthetic
1690s, as a term in logic, from French synthétique (17c.), from Modern Latin syntheticus, from Greek synthetikos, from synthetos, past participle of syntithenai (see synthesis). From 1874 in reference to products or materials made artificially by chemical synthesis; hence "artificial" (1930).
- Relating to or involving synthesis.
- Produced by chemical synthesis, especially not of natural origin.
- A synthetic chemical compound or material.
- Produced artificially, especially in a laboratory or other man-made environment. Nylon is a synthetic chemical compound.