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Line breaks: arti|fi¦cial
Pronunciation: /ɑːtɪˈfɪʃ(ə)l

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
More example sentences
  • This system uses ambient light rather than an artificial light source.
  • He also makes a point of using liqueur ingredients with natural rather than artificial flavorings.
  • Natural and artificial light is reflected from the polished and honed surfaces of the stone clad interior.
1.1(Of a situation or concept) not existing naturally; contrived or false: the artificial division of people into age groups
More example sentences
  • He went on to call the situation ‘an artificial crisis,’ caused by an increased demand resulting from all the publicity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
2(Of a person or their behaviour) insincere or affected: she gave an artificial smile
More example sentences
  • Straight through her flawless appearance and extraordinary manners I saw an artificial person.
  • It's filled with artificial people, with solemn, fake smiles, empty eyes, and briefcases.
  • Their smiles aren't real, they are artificial, paid for by him.
3 Bridge (Of a bid) conventional as opposed to natural: the Italian team began with an artificial club
More example sentences
  • 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).



Pronunciation: /-ʃɪˈalɪti/
Example sentences
  • Gallagher strikes exactly the right note of charm without artificiality, giving the sense that he too is caught up in the magic of a moment that seems to exist outside time and space.
  • He focuses on the contrast between the subject and the medium, using bold, geometric lines to highlight the artificiality of the artist's attempt to represent nature.
  • But perhaps if our view was made to linger on these ‘scenes’ their artificiality would also become more obvious.


Example sentences
  • The team was able to replace ears, noses, eyes, parts of the upper and lower jaws and teeth artificially.
  • Without artificially high prices the fragile British economy would shatter.
  • This, they argue, is artificially stimulating demand and these huge hidden subsidies are keeping prices low.

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