AskDefine | Define artificial

Dictionary Definition

artificial adj
1 contrived by art rather than nature; "artificial flowers"; "artificial flavoring"; "an artificial diamond"; "artificial fibers"; "artificial sweeteners" [syn: unreal] [ant: natural]
2 artificially formal; "that artificial humility that her husband hated"; "contrived coyness"; "a stilted letter of acknowledgment"; "when people try to correct their speech they develop a stilted pronunciation" [syn: contrived, hokey, stilted]
3 not arising from natural growth or characterized by vital processes

User Contributed Dictionary



  • ä(r)təfĭsh'əl, /ɑː(r)təˈfɪʃəl/, /A:(r)t@"fIS@l/


Via (French: artificiel), from artificialis from artificium "skill", from artifex, from ars "skill", and -fex, from facere "to make".


  1. Man-made; of artifice.
    The flowers were artificial, and he thought them rather tacky.
  2. False, misleading.
    Her manner was somewhat artificial.
  3. Unnatural.


false, misleading

Extensive Definition

Artificial is something which is not natural. Its original sense, related to artifact and artifice, refers to a product of human endeavor; a more English but gendered synonym is man-made. It is also used to mean "false", a substitute for the real thing, as in artificial turf or artificial sweetener.
artificial in Catalan: Artificial
artificial in French: Artificiel
artificial in Dutch: Kunstmatig
artificial in Urdu: مصنوعی

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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