artificial

From fake flowers to faux food flavors, our world is full of things that are artificial –- that is, produced by humans rather than by nature.

While artificial can simply mean “made by humans,” it’s often used in a negative sense, conveying the idea that an artificial product is inferior to the real thing. If you remark that your friend’s new hair color looks artificial, for example, you’re not paying her a compliment. Artificial can also describe a behavior or expression that seems insincere — much like the smile on your girlfriend’s face if you bring her artificial flowers instead of real ones.

Definitions of artificial
  1. adjective
    contrived by art rather than nature
    artificial flowers”
    artificial flavoring”
    “an artificial diamond”
    artificial fibers”
    artificial sweeteners”
    synonyms: unreal
    counterfeit, imitative
    not genuine; imitating something superior
    arranged, staged
    deliberately arranged for effect
    bionic
    having particular physiological functions augmented or replaced by electronic or electromechanical components
    bleached, colored, coloured, dyed
    (used of color) artificially produced; not natural
    cardboard, unlifelike
    without substance
    celluloid, synthetic
    artificial as if portrayed in a film
    conventionalised, conventionalized, stylised, stylized
    using artistic forms and conventions to create effects; not natural or spontaneous
    dummy
    having the appearance of being real but lacking capacity to function
    ersatz, substitute
    artificial and inferior
    factitious
    not produced by natural forces
    fake, false, faux, imitation, simulated
    not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article
    man-made, semisynthetic, synthetic
    not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially
    near
    closely resembling the genuine article
    painted
    lacking substance or vitality as if produced by painting
    unreal
    lacking in reality or substance or genuineness; not corresponding to acknowledged facts or criteria
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    natural
    existing in or produced by nature; not artificial or imitation
    natural
    in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning nature
    unbleached, uncolored, undyed
    not artificially colored or bleached
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    not arising from natural growth or characterized by vital processes
    Synonyms:
    inorganic
    lacking the properties characteristic of living organisms
  3. adjective
    artificially formal
    “that artificial humility that her husband hated”
    synonyms: contrived, hokey, stilted
    affected, unnatural
    speaking or behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Family