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

Origin of synthetic

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
Related formssyn·thet·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·syn·thet·ic, adjectivenon·syn·thet·i·cal, adjectivenon·syn·thet·i·cal·ly, adverbun·syn·thet·ic, adjectiveun·syn·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for synthetic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for synthetically


Examples from the Web for synthetically

Historical Examples of synthetically

  • He must give all, not abstractly, but concretely, synthetically.


    John Burroughs

  • Karl's people are always purely and synthetically composite.

    The Streets of Ascalon

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Later may come the comfort of joining the two classes, synthetically, thereby making the rounded and completed artist.

    Seed Thoughts for Singers

    Frank Herbert Tubbs

  • Certain propensities of human nature are assumed; and from these premises the whole science of politics is synthetically deduced!

  • For the first time the impression of movement was synthetically produced from different elements.

    The Photoplay

    Hugo Mnsterberg

British Dictionary definitions for synthetically


adjective Also: synthetical

(of a substance or material) made artificially by chemical reaction
not genuine; insinceresynthetic compassion
denoting languages, such as Latin, whose morphology is characterized by synthesisCompare polysynthetic, agglutinative (def. 2), analytic (def. 3)
  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. contingentCompare a posteriori, empirical


a synthetic substance or material
Derived Formssynthetically, adverb

Word Origin for synthetic

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



1690s, as a term in logic, from French synthétique (17c.), from Modern Latin syntheticus, from Greek synthetikos, from synthetos, past participle of syntithenai (see synthesis). From 1874 in reference to products or materials made artificially by chemical synthesis; hence "artificial" (1930).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

synthetically in Medicine




Relating to or involving synthesis.
Produced by chemical synthesis, especially not of natural origin.


A synthetic chemical compound or material.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

synthetically in Science



Produced artificially, especially in a laboratory or other man-made environment. Nylon is a synthetic chemical compound.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.