The definition of artificial refers to something that is simulated or made by humans, not by nature.
An example of the word artificial is flowers and plants which are made of plastic.
- made by human work or art, not by nature; not natural
- made in imitation of or as a substitute for something natural; simulated: artificial teeth
- unnatural in an affected way: an artificial smile
- Biol. designating or of a system of classification based on only a few characteristics, as color
Origin of artificialMiddle English from Old French from Classical Latin artificialis from artificium, artifice
- a. Made by humans, especially in imitation of something natural: an artificial sweetener that replaces sugar; artificial flowers.b. Not arising from natural or necessary causes; contrived or arbitrary: “Hausa [in Niger] … are separated from their brethren in Nigeria by a porous and artificial border that the colonial powers left behind” ( Jeffrey Tayler )
- Affected or insincere: an artificial smile.
Origin of artificialMiddle English from Old French from Latin artificiālis belonging to art from artificium craftsmanship ; see artifice .
artificial synthetic ersatz simulated
These adjectives refer to what is made by humans rather than natural in origin. Artificial is broadest in meaning and connotation: an artificial sweetener; artificial flowers. Synthetic often implies the use of a chemical process to produce a substance that will look or function like the original, often with certain advantages: synthetic rubber; a synthetic fabric. An ersatz product is a transparently inferior imitation: ersatz coffee; ersatz mink. Simulated often refers to a fabricated substitute or imitation of a costlier substance: simulated diamonds.
(comparative more artificial, superlative most artificial)