View synonyms for synthetic


[ sin-thet-ik ]


  1. of, pertaining to, proceeding by, or involving synthesis ( analytic ).
  2. noting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin:

    synthetic vitamins; synthetic fiber.

  3. (of a language) characterized by a relatively widespread use of affixes, rather than separate words, to express syntactic relationships: Compare analytic ( def 3 ), polysynthetic ( def 1 ).

    Latin is a synthetic language, while English is analytic.

  4. 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.
  5. not real or genuine; artificial; feigned:

    a synthetic chuckle at a poor joke.

    Synonyms: sham, counterfeit, phony, fake

  6. Jewelry.
    1. noting a gem mineral manufactured so as to be physically, chemically, and optically identical with the mineral as found in nature.
    2. (not in technical use) noting a gem mineral manufactured and pigmented in imitation of a natural gemstone of that name.


  1. something made by a synthetic, or chemical, process.
  2. synthetics.
    1. substances or products made by chemical synthesis, as plastics or artificial fibers.
    2. the science or industry concerned with such products.


/ sɪnˈθɛtɪk /


  1. (of a substance or material) made artificially by chemical reaction
  2. not genuine; insincere

    synthetic compassion

  3. denoting languages, such as Latin, whose morphology is characterized by synthesis Compare polysynthetic agglutinative analytic
  4. philosophy
    1. (of a proposition) having a truth-value that is not determined solely by virtue of the meanings of the words, as in all men are arrogant
    2. contingent Compare a posteriori empirical
“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


  1. a synthetic substance or material
“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


/ sĭn-thĕtĭk /

  1. Produced artificially, especially in a laboratory or other man-made environment. Nylon is a synthetic chemical compound.

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Derived Forms

  • synˈthetically, adverb
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Other Words From

  • syn·theti·cal·ly adverb
  • nonsyn·thetic adjective
  • nonsyn·theti·cal adjective
  • nonsyn·theti·cal·ly adverb
  • unsyn·thetic adjective
  • unsyn·theti·cal·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of synthetic1

1690–1700; < New Latin syntheticus < Greek synthetikós, equivalent to synthet ( ós ) placed together, verbid of syntithénai to put together ( syn- syn- + the-, stem of tithénai to put, place + -tos verbid suffix) + -ikos -ic
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Word History and Origins

Origin of synthetic1

C17: from New Latin syntheticus, from Greek sunthetikos expert in putting together, from suntithenai to put together; see synthesis
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Example Sentences

Another client is an Ohio-based manufacturer of cotton swabs that is replacing the cotton with a synthetic equivalent in order to make nasal testing swabs uncontaminated by the plant fiber’s DNA.

The team hopes their new cotton plants might eventually be grown widely and made into clothes, helping to displace the toxic dyes and synthetic materials used by the fashion industry.

All he needed was a long, two-dimensional chain—natural or synthetic—and the chain should fold itself automatically, similar to how it folds into the double helix inside our bodies.

Because the smell was completely synthetic, though, researchers could mess with it.

The fully synthetic nature of the Arkansas team’s technology could thus have a leg up on biologically-based approaches.

One key ingredient of the stuff: Propylene glycol, a synthetic liquid that absorbs water.

The Illinois legislation does not include bioplastics like PHA, defining the banned microplastics to be of the synthetic type.

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.

A dangerous synthetic drug trend is fueling an epidemic among American youth.

Nearly all the translating words given in this section so far are synthetic.

Drapes of velvety synthetic, dyed the deep green that Martian colonists like, covered the walls.

If you want to make a synthetic sapphire, you start with a seed sapphire, and the artificial process builds up on that.

Approximately two-thirds of such chemical employees are found in the synthetic fiber field.

Virginia now has approximately 30% of the total employees in the United States engaged in synthetic fibers.


Related Words




synthetasesynthetic biology