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 of artifice trick, device, dodge, fetch, flimflam, gambit, gimmick, jig, juggle, knack, play, ploy, scheme, shenanigan, sleight, stratagem, wileWords Related to artifice 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 of artifice artfulness, cunning, caginess (also cageyness), canniness, craft, craftiness, cunningness, deviousness, foxiness, guile, guilefulness, slickness, slyness, sneakiness, subtleness, subtlety, wilinessWords Related to artifice 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 of artifice adeptness, adroitness, art, artfulness, skill, artistry, cleverness, craft, cunning, deftness, masterfulness, skillfulnessWords Related to artifice dexterity, ease, finesse, handiness; experience, expertise, expertness, know-how, proficiency; creativity, ingenuity, inventiveness, knowledge, learning; aptitude, bent, flair, gift, knack, talentNear Antonyms of artifice amateurishness, awkwardness, clumsiness, crudeness, klutziness, rudeness; inability, inadequacy, inadequateness, incapability, incapacity, incompetence, ineffectiveness, ineffectuality, ineffectualness, inefficacy, inefficiencyAntonyms of artifice 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 of artifice deceit, cheating, cozenage, craft, craftiness, crookedness, crookery, cunning, cunningness, deceitfulness, deception, deceptiveness, dishonesty, dissembling, dissimulation, double-dealing, dupery, duplicity, fakery, foxiness, fraud, guile, guilefulness, wilinessWords Related to artifice 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 of artifice candidness, candor, directness, frankness, openness, plainness, plainspokenness; honesty, probity; dependability, reliability, reliableness, solidity, trustability, trustiness, trustworthiness; decency, goodness, incorruptibility, integrity, righteousness, truthfulness, uprightness, virtuousnessAntonyms of artifice 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 of artifice trickery, chicane, chicanery, gamesmanship, hanky-panky, jiggery-pokery, jugglery, legerdemain, skulduggery (or skullduggery), subterfuge, wileWords Related to artifice 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 of artifice artlessness, forthrightness, guilelessness, ingenuousness, sincerity; candidness, candor, directness, openness, plainness, plainspokenness

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

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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!