Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From French synthétique, from Ancient Greek συνθετικός (sunthetikós).


  • enPR: sĭnthĕt'ĭk, IPA(key): /sɪnˈθɛtɪk/
  • (file)


synthetic (comparative more synthetic, superlative most synthetic)

  1. Of, or relating to synthesis.
  2. (chemistry) Produced by synthesis instead of being isolated from a natural source (but may be identical to a product so obtained).
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      As the world's drug habit shows, governments are failing in their quest to monitor every London window-box and Andean hillside for banned plants. But even that Sisyphean task looks easy next to the fight against synthetic drugs. No sooner has a drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one.
  3. Artificial, not genuine.
  4. (grammar) Pertaining to the joining of bound morphemes in a word (compare analytic).
  5. (linguistics) Of a language, having a grammar principally dependent on the use of bound morphemes to indicate syntactic relationships (compare analytic).

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


synthetic (plural synthetics)

  1. A synthetic compound.
    • 2007 January 14, Elsa Brenner, “Art House to Get a Campus”, in New York Times[1]:
      Only plastics and synthetics that cannot be recycled will end up in landfills, he said.