Definition of artifice
Examples of artifice in a sentence
He spoke without artifice or pretense.
The whole story was just an artifice to win our sympathy.
The difference between art and artifice
Do great actors display artifice or art? Sometimes a bit of both. Artifice stresses creative skill or intelligence, but also implies a sense of falseness and trickery. Art generally rises above such falseness, suggesting instead an unanalyzable creative force. Actors may rely on some of each, but the personae they display in their roles are usually artificial creations. Therein lies a lexical connection between art and artifice. Artifice derives from artificium, Latin for artifice (that root also gave English artificial). Artificium in turn developed from ars, the Latin root underlying the word art (and related terms such as artist and artisan).
Origin and Etymology of artifice
Medieval French, from Latin artificium, from artific-, artifex artificer, from Latin art-, ars + facere —see artifact
First Known Use: 1540
Synonym Discussion of artifice
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 English Language Learners
Definition of artifice for English Language Learners
: dishonest or insincere behavior or speech that is meant to deceive someone
ARTIFICE Defined for Kids
Definition of artifice for Students
: a clever trick or device <She used every artifice to avoid work.>
Legal Definition of artifice
: a clever strategy usually intended to deceive or defraud
Seen and Heard
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