artifact

or ar·te·fact

[ahr-tuh-fakt]
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.

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

Examples from the Web for artifactual

Historical Examples of artifactual

  • Speculation goes as far as to suggest that these human beings became increasingly dependent on artifactual means of notation.


British Dictionary definitions for artifactual

artifact

noun
  1. a variant spelling of artefact
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 artifactual
adj.

also artefactual, 1914, from artifact + -al (1).

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

artifactual 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.
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.

artifactual 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.