[ ahr-tuh-fish-uhl ]
/ ˌɑr təˈfɪʃ əl /


Origin of artificial

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin artificiālis contrived by art; see artifice, -al1
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for artificial

British Dictionary definitions for artificial


/ (ˌɑːtɪˈfɪʃəl) /


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
Derived Formsartificiality (ˌɑːtɪˌfɪʃɪˈælɪtɪ), nounartificially, adverb

Word Origin for artificial

C14: from Latin artificiālis belonging to art, from artificium skill, artifice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper