[ ahr-tuh-fish-ee-al-i-tee ]
/ ˌɑr təˌfɪʃ iˈæl ɪ ti /

noun, plural ar·ti·fi·ci·al·i·ties.

artificial quality.
an artificial thing or trait: artificialities of speech.



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Origin of artificiality

First recorded in 1755–65; artificial + -ity

OTHER WORDS FROM artificiality

o·ver·ar·ti·fi·ci·al·i·ty, noun, plural o·ver·ar·ti·fi·ci·al·i··per·ar·ti·fi·ci·al·i·ty, noun, plural su·per·ar·ti·fi·ci·al·i·ties. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does artificiality mean?

Artificiality is the quality of being artificial—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.

Artificiality can be used in all of these contexts.

Example: When designing this material, I tried to avoid any sense of artificiality—I wanted it to feel completely real.

Where does artificiality come from?

The first records of the word artificiality in its modern sense come from around 1760. 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. Like artificial, artificiality can be used in both neutral and negative ways, but it is perhaps more likely to be used in a negative way to criticize something that doesn’t feel or seem natural or genuine.

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What are some other forms related to artificiality?

What are some synonyms for artificiality?

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


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

How is artificiality used in real life?

Artificiality can be used in both neutral and negative ways. When used negatively, it’s used in the criticism of things that are not natural or genuine.


Try using artificiality!

Is artificiality used correctly in the following sentence?

There is so much artificiality in our foods these days, but I prefer natural ingredients.

Example sentences from the Web for artificiality