Definition of artificial in English:



  • 1Made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.

    ‘her skin glowed in the artificial light’
    ‘an artificial limb’
    ‘artificial flowers’
    • ‘Now I work with Mahavir Seva Sadan, a manufacturer of artificial limbs.’
    • ‘Through the use of large glazed areas and reflectors, the best use is made of natural light and less artificial light is needed.’
    • ‘Most women will opt for a set of artificial nails rather than trying to grow their own out to impossible lengths.’
    • ‘Midwives aim to show a woman her own body's capacity to birth, rather than relying on artificial methods.’
    • ‘Above all, 82 accident victims need artificial hands and 91 others artificial limbs for survival.’
    • ‘Shouldn't we support natural replenishment of fish stocks where possible rather than rely on artificial restocking?’
    • ‘For city-bred women, these mud pots are not meant to hold water but to accommodate flowers, both natural and artificial.’
    • ‘What is the point of spending Billions of Euros (Pounds, Yen etc) on wiping out a disease and then making artificial copies of it?’
    • ‘Visitors to Huntington Cemetery have been upset after a new sign went up banning ornaments, artificial flowers, jam jars and vases by gravesides.’
    • ‘He also makes a point of using liqueur ingredients with natural rather than artificial flavorings.’
    • ‘Sometimes the salad is kept in plastic bags where bugs incubate under artificial supermarket display lights.’
    • ‘A rich collection of dried flowers from Nagaland is available for those who are interested in artificial and plastic flowers.’
    • ‘The researchers trained moths to associate sugar-water with either yellow or blue artificial flowers.’
    • ‘This system uses ambient light rather than an artificial light source.’
    • ‘High precision work is usually found to be lacking in the various units that manufacture artificial limbs.’
    • ‘The blocks are load-bearing and convey the same effect with both natural and artificial light, the maker says.’
    • ‘The artificial light regimen followed natural conditions, and fish were fed once a day with fresh black mussel meat.’
    • ‘Natural and artificial light is reflected from the polished and honed surfaces of the stone clad interior.’
    • ‘We had chosen real hair rather than artificial as although more expensive it definitely looks better.’
    • ‘He had his leg amputated and was fitted with an artificial limb.’
    synthetic, manufactured, machine-made, fabricated
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    1. 1.1(of a situation or concept) not existing naturally; contrived or false.
      ‘the artificial division of people into age groups’
      • ‘We must move away from this artificial reconciliation, but rather allow white people to voluntarily join us at these celebrations.’
      • ‘All this meant that there was an artificial shortage of television advertising time available to be sold.’
      • ‘In the developed world, people devote considerably more time to artificial rather than real relationships.’
      • ‘Cultures grow through interaction, not through artificial isolation.’
      • ‘But it creates an artificial crisis for which there is absolutely no need.’
      • ‘In this article we have made the somewhat artificial assumption that all new mutations have the same fitness effect.’
      • ‘It looks stagy, artificial and old-fashioned, rather than cinematic.’
      • ‘Admittedly, it was an artificial situation because the operator knew what the problem was and what sequence of keys was needed to cause the fault.’
      • ‘We would like to see a policy that is led by the police, rather than an artificial device such as class A, class B, and class C drugs.’
      • ‘Moreover, his selection of 1766 as an end point for his book seems rather artificial.’
      • ‘That would be to limit the operation of the provision to artificial situations, for which there is no justification either in principle or in the language used.’
      • ‘The fact is that our house prices are a direct result of the artificial shortage caused by planning inadequacy.’
      • ‘However, the Court considers it rather artificial to attempt to divide the ‘wider issues’ and the negligence issue.’
      • ‘Unencumbered by bizarre and artificial notions of copyright and ownership, the kids will sort it out, I reckon.’
      • ‘But we do have to answer the question, what do we do when other countries seek an artificial advantage?’
      • ‘He went on to call the situation ‘an artificial crisis,’ caused by an increased demand resulting from all the publicity.’
      • ‘The politicians version of the Eurovision song contest has produced a rather artificial debate.’
      • ‘Life gets so much easier if we give up the artificial notion that progress is linear.’
      • ‘It appears to emanate from the formulation of a rather artificial linguistic paradox.’
      • ‘This provokes an artificial crisis which is used to discredit the unions by placing the blame directly on them for the crisis.’
      synthetic, fake, false, imitation, mock, simulated, faux, ersatz, substitute
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  • 2(of a person or their behaviour) insincere or affected.

    ‘she gave an artificial smile’
    • ‘Ugly thougths of Jessica and her artificial friends entered her troubled mind, making her cry out in animosity.’
    • ‘Mizu was still wearing that artificial smile until we deposited our bus tokens and found ourselves a seat.’
    • ‘He keeps grinning an artificial smile while speaking whenever the photographer is clicking.’
    • ‘I have seen a few people who sound horribly artificial on the phone.’
    • ‘Their smiles aren't real, they are artificial, paid for by him.’
    • ‘Her brother's worried eyes gazed into her and she felt like the most artificial person on earth.’
    • ‘A quick smile works sometimes, but it feels a bit artificial.’
    • ‘While it seems artificial at first, it's a remarkably affecting technique.’
    • ‘Did nobody else notice the artificial smile plastered on Hillary's face throughout?’
    • ‘The acting in Blackboard is of the stilted, artificial kind that seems so jarring to the modern viewer.’
    • ‘The accent and intonation were near perfect, and there was no sign of affected or artificial delivery.’
    • ‘Yes, they are very artificial in their point of view.’
    • ‘I have been repelled by attempts to portray him as a vacuous man with an artificial smile and no convictions.’
    • ‘It was the first time in years the day didn't seem forced and artificial.’
    • ‘It's filled with artificial people, with solemn, fake smiles, empty eyes, and briefcases.’
    • ‘These people are so artificial, she thought as she passed a group of girls who waved at her as if they were long-time friends.’
    • ‘Straight through her flawless appearance and extraordinary manners I saw an artificial person.’
    • ‘There are many kinds of smiles, such as sarcastic, artificial or diplomatic smiles.’
    • ‘Forcing an artificial smile, Sam waved to her, then held a finger to his lips.’
    feigned, insincere, false, affected, mannered, unnatural, stilted, contrived, pretended, put-on, exaggerated, actorly, overdone, overripe, forced, laboured, strained, hollow, spurious
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  • 3Bridge
    (of a bid) conventional as opposed to natural.

    ‘the Italian team began with an artificial club’
    • ‘Bids which carry an agreed meaning other than this are called artificial or conventional.’


Late Middle English: from Old French artificiel or Latin artificialis, from artificium handicraft (see artifice).