“Artificial” vs. “Man-Made”: What’s the Difference?

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The difference between “artificial” and “man-made”

  • Artificial things are not necessarily made by human hands but may involve human knowledge or technology, whereas man-made objects are always created by humans.
  • Man-made objects typically involve the transformation of raw materials, whereas artificial objects may be created using existing materials or simulations of natural phenomena.
  • The connotations of each term also differ, with "artificial" implying a degree of inferiority, while "man-made" may carry a sense of ingenuity or creativity, like man-made architecture.
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What is the definition of “artificial” and “man-made”?

  • Refers to something that is made or produced by humans, often with the use of technology or tools.
  • Can also refer to something that is not natural or authentic, but rather, a human-made imitation or simulation of the real thing.
  • Examples of artificial objects include synthetic materials, computer-generated images, and genetically modified organisms.
  • Refers specifically to something that is created by human hands or labor, often using raw materials from nature.
  • Typically does not have the negative connotations that artificial has for being fake or lower in quality.
  • Examples of man-made objects include cars, bridges, and clothing.

Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?

“Artificial” is the more popular variant on the web.
More popular
1,410,000,000 results on the web
  1. The cake was made with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.
  2. The artificial flowers looked so real that guests were surprised to find out they weren't natural.
  3. The manager wore an artificial smile to the grumpy customer.
92,300,000 results on the web
  1. The ancient temple was full of intricate man-made carvings and statues.
  2. The pollutants in the river were caused by man-made factories upstream.
  3. The skyscraper stood tall, a symbol of man-made engineering brilliance.
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