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artifact

or ar·te·fact

[ahr-tuh-fakt]
See more synonyms for artifact on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any object made by human beings, especially with a view to subsequent use.
  2. a handmade object, as a tool, or the remains of one, as a shard of pottery, characteristic of an earlier time or cultural stage, especially such an object found at an archaeological excavation.
  3. any mass-produced, usually inexpensive object reflecting contemporary society or popular culture: artifacts of the pop rock generation.
  4. a substance or structure not naturally present in the matter being observed but formed by artificial means, as during preparation of a microscope slide.
  5. a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory or investigative procedures.
  6. any feature that is not naturally present but is a product of an extrinsic agent, method, or the like: statistical artifacts that make the inflation rate seem greater than it is.
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Origin of artifact

1815–25; variant of artefact < Latin phrase arte factum (something) made with skill. See art1, fact
Related formsar·ti·fac·tu·al [ahr-tuh-fak-choo-uh l] /ˌɑr təˈfæk tʃu əl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for artifact

commodity, profit, brand, work, amount, crop, production, fruit, produce, device, output, merchandise, stock, antique, evidence, keepsake, remains, antiquity, fragment, remnant

Examples from the Web for artifact

Contemporary Examples of artifact

Historical Examples of artifact


British Dictionary definitions for artifact

artifact

noun
  1. a variant spelling of artefact
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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

Word Origin and History for artifact

n.

1821, artefact, "anything made by human art," from Italian artefatto, from Latin arte "by skill" (ablative of ars "art;" see art (n.)) + factum "thing made," from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). The spelling with -i- is by 1884, by influence of the Latin stem. Archaeological application dates from 1890.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

artifact in Medicine

artifact

n.
  1. A structure or substance not normally present but produced by an external agent or action, such as a structure seen in a microscopic specimen after fixation that is not present in the living tissue.
  2. A skin lesion produced or perpetuated by self-inflicted action.
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Related formsar′ti•fac•titious (-făk-tĭshəs) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

artifact in Science

artifact

  1. An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.
  2. An artificial product or effect observed in a natural system, especially one introduced by the technology used in scientific investigation or by experimental error.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.