1. Of or pertaining to synthesis; consisting in synthesis or composition; as, the synthetic method of reasoning, as opposed to analytical. "Philosophers hasten too much from the analytic to the synthetic method; that is, they draw general conclusions from too small a number of particular observations and experiments." (Bolingbroke)

2. <chemistry> Artificial. Cf. Synthesis.

3. <zoology> Comprising within itself structural or other characters which are usually found only in two or more diverse groups; said of species, genera, and higher groups. See the Note under Comprehensive. Synthetic, or Synthetical language, an inflectional language, or one characterised by grammatical endings; opposed to analytic language.

Origin: Gr., cf. F. Synthetique.

(01 Mar 1998)