- a clever trick or stratagem; a cunning, crafty device or expedient; wile.
- trickery; guile; craftiness.
- cunning; ingenuity; inventiveness: a drawing-room comedy crafted with artifice and elegance.
- a skillful or artful contrivance or expedient.
Origin of artifice
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for artifice
There is usually something transparent about the artifice required by famous artists trying to remain current.The Many Lives of Artist David Hockney
November 23, 2014
The collection is by turn bizarre, hilarious, unpredictable, all of it without a single note of artifice.Khaled Hosseini’s Favorite Story Collections
May 21, 2013
Where Raphael constructed ideal women and made them seem normal and necessary, Dürer constructs ideal works of art and artifice.Durer, A 'Natural' Genius for Art
May 16, 2013
He is unfailingly polite and contrite, still slightly awkward with the artifice of campaigning after all these years.South Carolina Street Fight in First District Congressional Primary
March 18, 2013
Of course, these photos also emphasize the artifice that lies behind documentation.Photography's Heavy Lifting
October 17, 2012
The artifice was too palpable to escape Rotha's observation.The Shadow of a Crime
They held the secret of artifice in metals and gems; they were architects and sculptors.Italy, the Magic Land
Jeff had been summoned, and Esther met him with no pretence at an artifice of coolness.The Prisoner
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.
- a clever expedient; ingenious stratagem
- crafty or subtle deception
- skill; cleverness
- a skilfully contrived device
- obsolete craftsmanship
Word Origin and History for artifice
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.