noun ar·ti·fact \ˈär-ti-ˌfakt\

: a simple object (such as a tool or weapon) that was made by people in the past

: an accidental effect that causes incorrect results

Full Definition of ARTIFACT

a :  something created by humans usually for a practical purpose; especially :  an object remaining from a particular period <caves containing prehistoric artifacts>
b :  something characteristic of or resulting from a particular human institution, period, trend, or individual <self-consciousness … turns out to be an artifact of our education system — Times Literary Supplement>
:  a product of artificial character (as in a scientific test) due usually to extraneous (as human) agency
ar·ti·fac·tu·al \ˌär-ti-ˈfak-chə(-wə)l, -ˈfak-shwəl, -chü-əl\ adjective

Examples of ARTIFACT

  1. The caves contained many prehistoric artifacts.
  2. an artifact from the Colonial period

Origin of ARTIFACT

Latin arte by skill (abl. of art-, ars skill) + factum, neuter of factus, past participle of facere to do — more at arm, do
First Known Use: 1821

Other Archaeology Terms

Attic, Byzantine, Paleolithic, cairn, core, flint, horizon, neolithic, shard, stratum
Medical Dictionary


noun ar·ti·fact

Medical Definition of ARTIFACT

:  a product of artificial character due to extraneous (as human) agency; specifically :  a product or formation in a microscopic preparation of a fixed tissue or cell that is caused by manipulation or reagents and is not indicative of actual structural relationships
:  an electrocardiographic and electroencephalographic wave that arises from sources other than the heart or brain
ar·ti·fac·tu·al or chiefly British ar·te·fac·tu·al \ˌärt-ə-ˈfak-chə(-wə)l, -ˈfaksh-wəl\ adjective

Variants of ARTIFACT

ar·ti·fact or chiefly British ar·te·fact \ˈärt-ə-ˌfakt\


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