Meaning of “artificial” in the English Dictionary

"artificial" in British English

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uk /ˌɑː.tɪˈfɪʃ.əl/ us /ˌɑːr.t̬əˈfɪʃ.əl/

B2 made by people, often as a copy of something natural:

clothes made of artificial fibres
an artificial heart
an artificial lake
artificial fur/sweeteners/flowers

C2 disapproving not sincere:

Their cheerfulness seemed rather strained and artificial.

More examples

  • This artificial fabric has the texture of silk.
  • The match will be played on an artificial surface.
  • Some studies have suggested a link between certain types of artificial sweetener and cancer.
  • This bread is completely free from artificial preservatives.
  • She's been fitted with an artificial leg.
noun [ U ] uk /ˌɑː.tɪˌfɪʃ.iˈæl.ə.ti/ us /ˌɑːr.t̬əˌfɪʃ.iˈæl.ə.t̬i/
adverb uk /ˌɑː.tɪˈfɪʃ.əl.i/ us /ˌɑːr.t̬əˈfɪʃ.əl.i/


Most mushrooms sold in supermarkets have been grown artificially (= not in natural conditions) in manure.

(Definition of “artificial” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"artificial" in American English

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us /ˌɑr·t̬əˈfɪʃ·əl/

artificial adjective (PRODUCED)

made by people, often as a copy of something natural:

artificial flowers
artificial grass
an artificial leg

artificial adjective (NOT SINCERE)

not sincere; not truly intended:

an artificial smile
noun [ U ] us /ˌɑr·t̬əˌfɪʃ·iˈæl·ət̬·i/

The actors were encouraged to speak in flat, speedy tones (= quality of the voice), reinforcing the artificiality of an already unreal-seeming piece.
adverb us /ˌɑr·t̬əˈfɪʃ·ə·li/

Those oranges have been artificially colored.

(Definition of “artificial” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)