Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Made by humans, especially in imitation of something natural.
  • adjective Not arising from natural or necessary causes; contrived or arbitrary.
  • adjective Affected or insincere.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to art; in accordance with the rules of art; technical.
  • Contrived with skill or art; artistically done or represented; elaborate.
  • Made or contrived by art, or by human skill and labor: opposed to natural: as, artificial heat or light; an artificial magnet.
  • Made in imitation of or as a substitute for that which is natural or real: as, artificial pearls or diamonds; artificial flowers.
  • Feigned; fictitious; assumed; affected; constrained; not genuine or natural: said of things.
  • Full of affectation; not natural: said of persons.
  • Artful; subtle; crafty; ingenious.
  • noun A production of art.
  • noun An artificer; an artisan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Made or contrived by art; produced or modified by human skill and labor, in opposition to natural.
  • adjective Feigned; fictitious; assumed; affected; not genuine.
  • adjective obsolete Artful; cunning; crafty.
  • adjective Cultivated; not indigenous; not of spontaneous growth.
  • adjective (Rhet.) arguments invented by the speaker, in distinction from laws, authorities, and the like, which are called inartificial arguments or proofs.
  • adjective (Science) an arrangement based on superficial characters, and not expressing the true natural relations species; as, “the artificial system” in botany, which is the same as the Linnæan system.
  • adjective See under Horizon
  • adjective any light other than that which proceeds from the heavenly bodies.
  • adjective lines on a sector or scale, so contrived as to represent the logarithmic sines and tangents, which, by the help of the line of numbers, solve, with tolerable exactness, questions in trigonometry, navigation, etc.
  • adjective logarithms.
  • adjective (Law) See under Person.
  • adjective the same as logarithms of the natural sines, tangents, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Man-made; of artifice.
  • adjective False, misleading.
  • adjective Unnatural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not arising from natural growth or characterized by vital processes
  • adjective contrived by art rather than nature
  • adjective artificially formal

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin artificiālis, belonging to art, from artificium, craftsmanship; see artifice.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via Old French (French: artificiel), from Latin artificialis from artificium ("skill"), from artifex, from ars ("skill"), and -fex, from facere ("to make").

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Examples

  • The distinction between artificial and natural virtues that dominates the virtue ethics of the Treatise is almost entirely absent from the moral Enquiry; the term ˜artificial™ occurs in the latter only once in a footnote.

    Hume's Moral Philosophy

  • Even I, the anti-geek, am familiar with the term artificial intelligence.

    I’m Working on That

  • Even I, the anti-geek, am familiar with the term artificial intelligence.

    I’m Working on That

  • Even I, the anti-geek, am familiar with the term artificial intelligence.

    I’m Working on That

  • Even I, the anti-geek, am familiar with the term artificial intelligence.

    I’m Working on That

  • The idea of simulating human intelligence had been discussed for decades, but the term "artificial intelligence" - originally used to help raise funds to support the conference - stuck.

    NYT > Home Page

  • This flattering promise of computing by Minsky had received a severe beating by history, in that, more than a generation later, by 2000's, "the failed promises ofAIcontinue to haunt AI research, as the New York Times reported in 2005: 'Computer scientists and software engineers avoided the term artificial intelligence for fear of being viewed as wild-eyed dreamers.'"

  • He doesn't like the term "artificial intelligence," but that's what he's talking about -- an algorithm that keeps learning, growing and improving its performance.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • Mr. McCarthy coined the phrase "artificial intelligence" for a 1956 conference he organized at Dartmouth College with longtime collaborator Marvin Minsky, Mr. Shannon and others that is widely considered the crucible of the field.

    Computer Scientist Coined 'Artificial Intelligence'

  • Died: John McCarthy, 84, computer pioneer, coined the term artificial intelligence.

    What's News: World-Wide

Comments

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  • I believe the original use of "artificial" as a positive take on human-crafted works is valuable. In the digital design industry, the mis-use of "natural" upsets me enough that we named our company The Artificial.

    January 29, 2015