noun ar·ti·fice \ˈär-tə-fəs\

: dishonest or insincere behavior or speech that is meant to deceive someone

Full Definition of ARTIFICE

a :  clever or artful skill :  ingenuity <believing that characters had to be created from within rather than with artifice — Garson Kanin>
b :  an ingenious device or expedient
a :  an artful stratagem :  trick
b :  false or insincere behavior <social artifice>

Examples of ARTIFICE

  1. He spoke without artifice or pretense.
  2. The whole story was just an artifice to win our sympathy.

Origin of ARTIFICE

Middle French, from Latin artificium, from artific-, artifex artificer, from Latin art-, ars + facere
First Known Use: circa 1604

Synonym Discussion of ARTIFICE

trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end <the tricks of the trade>. ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression <the ruses of smugglers>. stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy <the stratagem-filled game>. maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty <last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy>. artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention <the clever artifices of the stage>. wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements <used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself>. feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent <a feint toward the enemy's left flank>.

art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised. art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power <the art of choosing the right word>. skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency <the skill of a glassblower>. cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing <a mystery plotted with great cunning>. artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature <believed realism in film could be achieved only by artifice>. craft may imply expertness in workmanship <the craft of a master goldsmith>.
ARTIFICE Defined for Kids


noun ar·ti·fice \ˈär-tə-fəs\

Definition of ARTIFICE for Kids

:  a clever trick or device <She used every artifice to avoid work.>


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