Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

artifice

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of artifice

  1. 1 a clever often underhanded means to achieve an end <used the artifice of saying his grandmother had died so that he could get the last seat on the plane> Synonyms trick, device, dodge, fetch, flimflam, gambit, gimmick, jig, juggle, knack, play, ploy, scheme, shenanigan, sleight, stratagem, wileRelated Words bluff, end run, feint; cheating, chicanery, cozenage, craft, crookery, cunning, deception, dupery, duplicity, fakery, jugglery, legerdemain, skulduggery (or skullduggery), subterfuge, swindling, trickery; fraud, gaff, hoax, sham, swindle; blind, front, smoke screen

  2. 2 skill in achieving one's ends through indirect, subtle, or underhanded means <using their artifice, the Greeks crafted a hollow wooden horse to hide inside and thereby gained entry into the city of Troy> Synonyms artfulness, cunning, caginess (also cageyness), canniness, craft, craftiness, cunningness, deviousness, foxiness, guile, guilefulness, slickness, slyness, sneakiness, subtleness, subtlety, wilinessRelated Words calculation, care, design; savvy, sharpness, shrewdness; cleverness, ingeniousness, ingenuity, inventiveness; ease, facility, finesse; deceitfulness, duplicity, shiftiness, underhandedness

  3. 3 subtle or imaginative ability in inventing, devising, or executing something <a painting that could only have been created with the artifice of a master> Synonyms adeptness, adroitness, art, artfulness, skill, artistry, cleverness, craft, cunning, deftness, masterfulness, skillfulnessRelated Words dexterity, ease, finesse, handiness; experience, expertise, expertness, know-how, proficiency; creativity, ingenuity, inventiveness, knowledge, learning; aptitude, bent, flair, gift, knack, talentNear Antonyms amateurishness, awkwardness, clumsiness, crudeness, klutziness, rudeness; inability, inadequacy, inadequateness, incapability, incapacity, incompetence, ineffectiveness, ineffectuality, ineffectualness, inefficacy, inefficiencyAntonyms artlessness, ineptitude, ineptness, maladroitness

  4. 4 the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery <a crook who is a master of artifice and manipulation> Synonyms deceit, cheating, cozenage, craft, craftiness, crookedness, crookery, cunning, cunningness, deceitfulness, deception, deceptiveness, dishonesty, dissembling, dissimulation, double-dealing, dupery, duplicity, fakery, foxiness, fraud, guile, guilefulness, wilinessRelated Words equivocation, lying, mendacity, prevarication; chicane, chicanery, fraudulence, hanky-panky, jugglery, legerdemain, mountebankery, obliquity, skulduggery (or skullduggery), subterfuge, swindling, trickery, wile; falsehood, falsity, fib, untruth; hypocrisy, insincerity, sanctimoniousness, two-facedness; artfulness, caginess (also cageyness), deviousness, shrewdness; treacherousness, underhandedness, unscrupulousness; covertness, furtiveness, secrecy, shadiness, sneakiness, stealthiness; oiliness, shiftiness, slickness, slipperiness, slyness, smoothnessNear Antonyms candidness, candor, directness, frankness, openness, plainness, plainspokenness; honesty, probity; dependability, reliability, reliableness, solidity, trustability, trustiness, trustworthiness; decency, goodness, incorruptibility, integrity, righteousness, truthfulness, uprightness, virtuousnessAntonyms artlessness, forthrightness, good faith, guilelessness, ingenuousness, sincerity

  5. 5 the use of clever underhanded actions to achieve an end <if she has to resort to artifice to get a man, well, she's prepared to do that> Synonyms trickery, chicane, chicanery, gamesmanship, hanky-panky, jiggery-pokery, jugglery, legerdemain, skulduggery (or skullduggery), subterfuge, wileRelated Words artfulness, caginess (also cageyness), craftiness, cunning, deviousness, foxiness, oiliness, shadiness, sharpness, shiftiness, shrewdness, slickness, slipperiness, slyness, sneakiness, treachery, underhandedness, wiliness; crookedness, crookery, cunning, deceit, deceitfulness, deception, deceptiveness, dishonesty, dissimulation, double-dealing, dupery, duplicity, guile, guilefulness, hypocrisy, insincerity; fakery, humbuggery, imposture, quackery; dirty pool, dirty tricks; design, plotting, scheming, secrecy, stealthNear Antonyms artlessness, forthrightness, guilelessness, ingenuousness, sincerity; candidness, candor, directness, openness, plainness, plainspokenness




Learn More about artifice


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up artifice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

interruption rebellion torrent megillah
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ