View synonyms for artificial


[ ahr-tuh-fish-uhl ]


  1. made by human skill; produced by humans ( natural ):

    artificial flowers.

    Synonyms: synthetic

  2. imitation; simulated; sham:

    artificial vanilla flavoring.

    Synonyms: factitious, counterfeit

    Antonyms: real, genuine

  3. lacking naturalness or spontaneity; forced; contrived; feigned:

    an artificial smile.

    Synonyms: factitious, counterfeit

  4. full of affectation; affected; stilted:

    artificial manners; artificial speech.

    Synonyms: pretentious

  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 ).


/ ˌɑːtɪˈfɪʃəl; ˌɑːtɪˌfɪʃɪˈælɪtɪ /


  1. produced by man; not occurring naturally

    artificial materials of great strength

  2. made in imitation of a natural product, esp as a substitute; not genuine

    artificial cream

  3. pretended; assumed; insincere

    an artificial manner

  4. lacking in spontaneity; affected

    an artificial laugh

  5. biology relating to superficial characteristics not based on the interrelationships of organisms

    an artificial classification

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Derived Forms

  • artificiality, noun
  • ˌartiˈficially, adverb

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Other Words From

  • arti·ficial·ly adverb
  • arti·ficial·ness noun
  • over·arti·ficial adjective
  • over·arti·ficial·ly adverb
  • super·arti·ficial adjective
  • super·arti·ficial·ly adverb
  • unar·ti·ficial adjective
  • unar·ti·ficial·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of artificial1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin artificiālis “contrived by art”; equivalent to artifice + -al 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of artificial1

C14: from Latin artificiālis belonging to art, from artificium skill, artifice

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Example Sentences

While that might not sound like a particular pressing need to the average person, the project fits into Musk’s long-standing concerns about artificial intelligence.

From Vox

Dubbed Sputnik-V, after the first artificial satellite, the vaccine has been tested in only a small number of people.

Once tourists filled the vessel’s 20 leather armchairs, it would plunge into an artificial lake shaped like a champagne glass.

From Ozy

Knewz uses a mix of human curation and “artificial intelligence” to present stories from around 400 sources.

From Digiday

In this way, they were able to incept a wholly artificial smell into mice.

In the end, the line between magic and religion may be something of an artificial one.

Complete male reproductive independence would also hinge on artificial womb technology, which also made headlines in 2014.

In lieu of a traditional runway, Lagerfeld had the Grand Palais trussed up as an artificial city.

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 was not, however, through any of these artificial means that real relief was brought to the community.

He did not know what the scent was, but it smelled rich and artificial, and he disliked to associate it with his new friend.

When rapidly deposited, as by artificial precipitation, triple phosphate often takes feathery, star- or leaf-like forms.

As his system is the foe of all artificial methods, it is par excellence the “Natural” System.

She still wore the shabby lace and the artificial bunch of violets on the side of her head.


Related Words

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More About Artificial

What does artificial mean?

Artificial is used to describe things that are made or manufactured as opposed to occurring naturally. Artificial is often used as the opposite of natural. A close synonym of artificial is synthetic.

This sense of the word is often used in the context of food to describe things like ingredients, flavors, additives, and preservatives that are chemically processed. Food packaging often specifies whether a product has natural or artificial flavors (or both). An artificial sweetener is a kind of chemical used as a substitute for sugar, such as in diet sodas.

Artificial is not only used in the context of food. Artificial turf is a grasslike surface used for sports playing fields. Artificial diamonds are those that are manufactured, as opposed to those that have developed through natural processes in the earth. Artificial flowers are often used as decorations. Artificial intelligence generally refers to the ability of a computer to function in a way that mimics or is likened to the human mind.

Sometimes, artificial is used in a more negative way to describe something as fake or imitation, as in Something about this tastes artificial. 

This sense of the word is sometimes used figuratively to describe something as being faked, phony, or contrived—the opposite of real or genuine, as in an artificial smile.  

Example: The stadium just installed a field with artificial grass that is supposed to feel identical to real grass. 

Where does artificial come from?

The first records of the word artificial come from around 1400. It ultimately comes from the Latin artificiālis, meaning “belonging to art,” from artificium, meaning “skill.” (The related word artifice can refer to trickery or inventiveness.)

Artificial is typically used to indicate that the thing it describes was made and especially to contrast it with a natural version of that thing that grew or developed naturally.

Creating artificial versions of things can often be done more quickly and is often cheaper. However, the resulting product may be considered less quality, less healthy, or inferior in some other way.

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What are some other forms related to artificial?

What are some synonyms for artificial?

What are some words that share a root or word element with artificial


What are some words that often get used in discussing artificial?

How is artificial used in real life?

Artificial is a commonly used word that’s typically used to describe something that was made and does not occur naturally.



Try using artificial!

Which of the following things could be described as artificial?

A. a flavor made in a lab
B. a naturally grown apple
C. a wild plant
D. bacteria




artificerartificial aid