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artifice

[ahr-tuh-fis] /ˈɑr tə fɪs/
noun
1.
a clever trick or stratagem; a cunning, crafty device or expedient; wile.
2.
trickery; guile; craftiness.
3.
cunning; ingenuity; inventiveness:
a drawing-room comedy crafted with artifice and elegance.
4.
a skillful or artful contrivance or expedient.
Origin of artifice
1525-1535
1525-35; < Anglo-French < Latin artificium craftsmanship, art, craftiness, equivalent to arti-, combining form of ars art1 + -fic-, combining form of facere to do1, make + -ium + -ium
Synonyms
1. subterfuge. 2. deception, deceit, art, duplicity.
Synonym Study
1. See trick. 2. See cunning.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for artifice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The artifice was too palpable to escape Rotha's observation.

  • They held the secret of artifice in metals and gems; they were architects and sculptors.

    Italy, the Magic Land Lilian Whiting
  • Jeff had been summoned, and Esther met him with no pretence at an artifice of coolness.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • There was not an artifice I did not practise to cure myself of this baleful infatuation.

    Gerald Fitzgerald Charles James Lever
  • The latter then resorted to artifice, seeing that force was unavailing.

British Dictionary definitions for artifice

artifice

/ˈɑːtɪfɪs/
noun
1.
a clever expedient; ingenious stratagem
2.
crafty or subtle deception
3.
skill; cleverness
4.
a skilfully contrived device
5.
(obsolete) craftsmanship
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, from Latin artificium skill, from artifex one possessed of a specific skill, from ars skill + -fex, from facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for artifice
n.

1530s, "workmanship, the making of anything by craft or skill," from Middle French artifice "skill, cunning" (14c.), from Latin artificium "a profession, trade, employment, craft; making by art," from artifex (genitive artificis) "craftsman, artist," from ars "art" (see art (n.)) + facere "do" (see factitious). Meaning "device, trick" (the usual modern sense) is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
14
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