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Meaning of synthetic

syn•thet•ic

Pronunciation: (sin-thet'ik), [key]
— adj.
  1. of, pertaining to, proceeding by, or involving synthesis (opposed to analytic).
  2. noting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin: synthetic vitamins; synthetic fiber.
  3. (of a language) characterized by a relatively widespread use of affixes, rather than separate words, to express syntactic relationships:Cf.(def. 3),(def. 1). Latin is a synthetic language, while English is analytic.
  4. of or pertaining to a noncontradictory proposition in which the predicate is not included in, or entailed by, the subject.
  5. not real or genuine; artificial; feigned: a synthetic chuckle at a poor joke.
    1. noting a gem mineral manufactured so as to be physically, chemically, and optically identical with the mineral as found in nature.
    2. (not in technical use) noting a gem mineral manufactured and pigmented in imitation of a natural gemstone of that name.
—n.
  1. something made by a synthetic, or chemical, process.
    1. substances or products made by chemical synthesis, as plastics or artificial fibers.
    2. the science or industry concerned with such products.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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