state of being the product of intentional human manufacture, rather than occurring naturally
(Redirected from Man-made)

When something is artificial, or man-made, it has been made by humans, not nature. For example, an artificial satellite is one made by humans, while a natural satellite is a satellite that was not made by humans. Many artificial things imitate or copy things found in nature. The imitation may use the same basic materials as those in the natural object; or it may use quite different materials, as in Artificial leather. These are concepts in defining reality.[1] There are different ideas about what can be considered artificial and what is natural.[2]

The word "artificial" comes from the Latin words art (meaning "skill") and fex ("to make").[3]

Artificial does not necessarily mean synthetic (that is, created by synthesis). An artificial sweetener imitates sweetness using a chemical formula that is not found in nature; it is therefore both artificial and synthetic.

Some disasters are natural, but some are man-made, like the Dust Bowl disaster in the United States.


  1. Herbert A. Simon (1969). The Sciences of the Artificial. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. p. 4. ISBN 9780262264495.
  2. Ali, Syed Mustafa. "The Concept of Poiesis and Its Application in a Heideggerian Critique of Computationally Emergent Artificiality". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Klaus Krippendorff (2007), "An Exploration of Artificiality" (PDF), Departmental Papers, University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication