[ ahr-tuh-fis ]
See synonyms for artifice on
  1. a clever trick or stratagem; a cunning, crafty device or expedient; wile.

  2. trickery; guile; craftiness.

  1. cunning; ingenuity; inventiveness: a drawing-room comedy crafted with artifice and elegance.

  2. a skillful or artful contrivance or expedient.

Origin of artifice

1525–35; <Anglo-French <Latin artificium craftsmanship, art, craftiness, equivalent to arti-, combining form of arsart1 + -fic-, combining form of facere to do1, make + -ium + -ium

synonym study For artifice

1. See trick. 2. See cunning.

Other words for artifice

Words Nearby artifice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use artifice in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for artifice


/ (ˈɑːtɪfɪs) /

  1. a clever expedient; ingenious stratagem

  2. crafty or subtle deception

  1. skill; cleverness

  2. a skilfully contrived device

  3. obsolete craftsmanship

Origin of artifice

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