as in deception
the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery a crook who is a master of artifice and manipulation

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms


Synonym Chooser

How is the word artifice different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of artifice are feint, maneuver, ruse, stratagem, trick, and wile. While all these words mean "an indirect means to gain an end," artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention.

the clever artifices of the stage

When would feint be a good substitute for artifice?

While in some cases nearly identical to artifice, feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent.

a feint toward the enemy's left flank

When can maneuver be used instead of artifice?

While the synonyms maneuver and artifice are close in meaning, maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty.

last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy

When is ruse a more appropriate choice than artifice?

The synonyms ruse and artifice are sometimes interchangeable, but ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression.

the ruses of smugglers

Where would stratagem be a reasonable alternative to artifice?

The words stratagem and artifice are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy.

the stratagem-filled game

When is it sensible to use trick instead of artifice?

The meanings of trick and artifice largely overlap; however, trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end.

the tricks of the trade

When might wile be a better fit than artifice?

The words wile and artifice can be used in similar contexts, but wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements.

used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself


Thesaurus Entries Near artifice

Cite this Entry

“Artifice.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on artifice

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