See more synonyms for artificial on
  1. made by human skill; produced by humans (opposed to natural): artificial flowers.
  2. imitation; simulated; sham: artificial vanilla flavoring.
  3. lacking naturalness or spontaneity; forced; contrived; feigned: an artificial smile.
  4. full of affectation; affected; stilted: artificial manners; artificial speech.
  5. made without regard to the particular needs of a situation, person, etc.; imposed arbitrarily; unnatural: artificial rules for dormitory residents.
  6. Biology. based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics rather than natural, organic relationships: an artificial system of classification.
  7. Jewelry. manufactured to resemble a natural gem, in chemical composition or appearance.Compare assembled, imitation(def 11), synthetic(def 6).

Origin of artificial

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin artificiālis contrived by art; see artifice, -al1
Related formsar·ti·fi·cial·ly, adverbar·ti·fi·cial·ness, nouno·ver·ar·ti·fi·cial, adjectiveo·ver·ar·ti·fi·cial·ly, adverbsu·per·ar·ti·fi·cial, adjectivesu·per·ar·ti·fi·cial·ly, adverbun·ar·ti·fi·cial, adjectiveun·ar·ti·fi·cial·ly, adverb

Synonyms for artificial

See more synonyms for on

Antonyms for artificial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for artificial

Contemporary Examples of artificial

Historical Examples of artificial

British Dictionary definitions for artificial


  1. produced by man; not occurring naturallyartificial materials of great strength
  2. made in imitation of a natural product, esp as a substitute; not genuineartificial cream
  3. pretended; assumed; insincerean artificial manner
  4. lacking in spontaneity; affectedan artificial laugh
  5. 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