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[ahr-tuh-fish-uh l] /ˌɑr təˈfɪʃ əl/
made by human skill; produced by humans (opposed to natural):
artificial flowers.
imitation; simulated; sham:
artificial vanilla flavoring.
lacking naturalness or spontaneity; forced; contrived; feigned:
an artificial smile.
full of affectation; affected; stilted:
artificial manners; artificial speech.
made without regard to the particular needs of a situation, person, etc.; imposed arbitrarily; unnatural:
artificial rules for dormitory residents.
Biology. based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics rather than natural, organic relationships:
an artificial system of classification.
Jewelry. manufactured to resemble a natural gem, in chemical composition or appearance.
Compare assembled, imitation (def 11), synthetic (def 6).
Origin of artificial
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin artificiālis contrived by art; see artifice, -al1
Related forms
artificially, adverb
artificialness, noun
overartificial, adjective
overartificially, adverb
superartificial, adjective
superartificially, adverb
unartificial, adjective
unartificially, adverb
1. synthetic. 2, 3. counterfeit, factitious. 4. pretentious.
2. genuine, real. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for artificially
  • He invented the basic methods of artificially binding nitrogen through the use of hydrocarbons.
  • Others have built their own instruments, using artificially aged wood.
  • Now with this loadstone you may make magnets artificially.
  • There is a small swimming pool which can be warmed artificially.
  • In fact, generalities lose potency if they occur at the cost of artificially leveling otherwise significant features of reality.
  • Scientists have determined that long artificial days-and artificially short nights-induce early breeding in a wide range of birds.
  • Some experts have suggested doing the same thing artificially as a modern cure for global warming.
  • The finding means our understanding of the lives and behaviors of the great ape is based on artificially low population densities.
  • There are several factors in the market keeping prices artificially high.
  • As bizarre as that sounds, modern strains are unfit for natural mating and must all be artificially inseminated.
British Dictionary definitions for artificially


produced by man; not occurring naturally: artificial materials of great strength
made in imitation of a natural product, esp as a substitute; not genuine: artificial cream
pretended; assumed; insincere: an artificial manner
lacking in spontaneity; affected: an artificial laugh
(biology) relating to superficial characteristics not based on the interrelationships of organisms: an artificial classification
Derived Forms
artificiality (ˌɑːtɪˌfɪʃɪˈælɪtɪ) noun
artificially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin artificiālis belonging to art, from artificium skill, artifice
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
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Word Origin and History for artificially

early 15c.; see artificial + -ly (2).



late 14c., in the phrase artificial day "part of the day from sunrise to sunset," from Old French artificial, from Latin artificialis "of or belonging to art," from artificium (see artifice). Meaning "made by man" (opposite of natural) is from early 15c. Applied to things that are not natural, whether real (artificial light) or not (artificial flowers). Artificial insemination dates from 1897. Artificial intelligence "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines" was coined in 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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