: a usually simple object (such as a tool or ornament) showing human workmanship or modification as distinguished from a natural object;
: an object remaining from a particular period
- caves containing prehistoric artifacts
: something characteristic of or resulting from a particular human institution, period, trend, or individual
- … morality is an artifact of human culture, devised to help us negotiate social relations.
- —Michael Pollan
: something or someone arising from or associated with an earlier time especially when regarded as no longer appropriate, relevant, or important
- … that over-simplified but eloquent quality that keeps Jefferson alive for us while Washington and Adams, his superiors in so many other respects, are artifacts of a quaint and lost world.
- —Jack Rakove
: a product of artificial character (as in a scientific test) due usually to extraneous (such as human) agency
: an electrocardiographic and electroencephalographic wave that arises from sources other than the heart or brain
: a defect in an image (such as a digital photograph) that appears as a result of the technology and methods used to create and process the image
- … can produce a very good picture, but there will be some loss of detail and some color artifacts such as adjacent colors bleeding into each other.
- —Consumer Reports
\ˌär-ti-ˈfak-chə(-wə)l, -ˈfak-shwəl, -chü-əl\