Meaning of ARTIFICIAL in English

I. |är]də|fishəl, |ȧ], ]tə-\ adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French artificial, artificiel, from Latin artificialis according to the rules of art, from artificium artifice + -alis -al

1. : contrived through human art or effort and not by natural causes detached from human agency : relating to human direction or effect in contrast to nature:

a. : formed or established by man's efforts, not by nature

the people do not resort to artificial irrigation — J.G.Frazer

b. : produced or effected by man's skill to imitate nature : simulated

whether Milly's bloom was natural, as it appeared, or artificial , as Victoria suspected — Ellen Glasgow

the use of live bait versus artificial flies in angling

an artificial limb replacing the amputated leg

: made especially by chemical process to resemble a raw material or something derived from it : synthetic

artificial silk

artificial cotton

artificial diamonds

c. : of, relating to, or produced by artificial insemination

artificial daughters of all breeds of cattle

first artificial breeding association formed in U.S. — New England Homestead


a. : characteristic of human social, economic, or legal organization or structure and devoid of or contrary to actual existence in nature as detached from man

b. : taking form from an exceptional legalistic, economic, or social situation : palpably unnatural : fabricated

the empire must be felt not as an artificial novelty but as the natural extension of the republican tradition — John Buchan

most of the inequalities in the existing world are artificial — Bertrand Russell

3. obsolete

a. : displaying skill : skillful

b. : artful , cunning , crafty

c. : of or according to fine or practical art


a. : not genuinely and spontaneously felt or experienced : seemingly not genuine : achieved through effort, not naturally : feigned , assumed , spurious

the common tone was artificial , was unreal — C.E.Norton

none of that artificial shamefacedness which her husband mistook for delicacy — W.M.Thackeray

b. : affected , shallow , conventionalized, stilted : not natural, spontaneous, or free

so affected, so fussy, so artificial — Kenneth Roberts

to disregard the rules artificial of somewhat emptied rhetoric — H.O.Taylor

c. : imitation , sham

a training army which has not been equipped with guns and artillery and tanks uses artificial guns and masquerading trucks — John Steinbeck

5. : of or relating to a bid or bidding system in contract bridge intended to inform one's partner as to the nature of the hand held but not necessarily to show strength in the suit named or willingness to undertake the contract named


: synthetic , factitious : artificial and synthetic are often interchangeable when applied to fabrication

rayon is called artificial silk and is spoken of as a synthetic fabric

artificial contrasts with natural

artificial and natural silks

artificial and natural heat

the miner must work by artificial light even though the sun be shining outside: still further down in the seams, he must work by artificial ventilation, too — Lewis Mumford

synthetic is likely to connote chemical combination or similar processes

synthetic flavors or dyes

synthesis always means synthesis. Synthetic camphor and synthetic quinine mean just that — H.L.Fisher

artificial may apply to anything existing in human but not in natural affairs

a corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible and existing only in contemplation of law — John Marshall

now magicians or medicine men appear to constitute the oldest artificial or professional class in the evolution of society — J.G.Frazer

artificial , factitious , and synthetic may all describe the forced, constrained, simulated, fabricated, or unnatural in matters social or personal; they all indicate a lack of the natural or spontaneous

the strained artificial romanticism of Kotzebue's lugubrious dramas — J.W.Krutch

at her best she is artificial … one can always feel the heavily conscious performer — G.J.Nathan

in the degree in which decorative effect is achieved in isolation, it becomes empty embellishment, factitious ornamentation — like sugar figures on a cake — John Dewey

emotional depths which till now had seemed to him unreal, theatrical, factitious — B.A.Williams

an esoteric jargon which did not even have the authentic ring of American slang. It was purely synthetic — Stanley Walker

the usually synthetic obscenities of the popular joke, the remote glamor of the embraces of moving-picture stars — Lewis Mumford

factitious is less common than artificial; synthetic is more recent in this use and more likely to suggest technological fabrication.

II. noun

( -s )

1. : an imitation of a natural object

there are many live-bait fishermen but the advocates of artificials are agreed on one thing — Eddie Finlay

specifically : an artificial flower

2. artificials plural , chiefly Britain : artificial manure : chemical fertilizer

this crop grows easily on poor soil and although it responds to lime it does not like artificials — Farming

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.