- any object made by human beings, especially with a view to subsequent use.
- 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.
- any mass-produced, usually inexpensive object reflecting contemporary society or popular culture: artifacts of the pop rock generation.
- a substance or structure not naturally present in the matter being observed but formed by artificial means, as during preparation of a microscope slide.
- a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory or investigative procedures.
- 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.
Origin of artifact
Examples from the Web for artifact
Today, a lack of provenance often means one of two things: an artifact is forged or an artifact was illegally acquired.Dismembering History: The Shady Online Trade in Ancient Texts
November 23, 2014
Given how infrequently new copies of the map appeared on the market, collectors would bid handsomely for the artifact.The Million-Dollar Map Thief
July 30, 2014
This isn't a policy in any coherent sense of that word; it's an artifact of resentment, a self-defeating relic from another era.Obama Should End America’s Stupidest Foreign Policy: Isolating Cuba
February 26, 2014
The essay itself seems an artifact of a dying tradition, and not just in its grandiosity.In Defense of Jonathan Franzen
September 26, 2013
There is a huge overlap, and this firewall is very much an artifact.America’s Depression Diagnoses Epidemic and How to Fix It
March 30, 2013
The artifact and the experience leading to it appear as different entities.The Civilization of Illiteracy
The nature which science defines is an artifact or construct.The Approach to Philosophy
Ralph Barton Perry
From the Tank Site the artifact yield per cubic foot almost doubled that of the 1947 season.
Now the other extreme has the artifact versus the naturifact and the talk of culture in such loose terms as preblade industries.
Its skin looked so exactly like that of a carabao that uncharitable persons had suggested that it was an artifact.The Philippines Past and Present (Volume 2 of 2)
Dean Conant Worcester
- a variant spelling of artefact
Word Origin and History for artifact
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.
- 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.
- A skin lesion produced or perpetuated by self-inflicted action.
- An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.
- An artificial product or effect observed in a natural system, especially one introduced by the technology used in scientific investigation or by experimental error.