noun ar·ti·fice \ˈär-tə-fəs\
Simple Definition of artifice
: dishonest or insincere behavior or speech that is meant to deceive someone
Full Definition of artifice
a : clever or artful skill : ingenuity
b : an ingenious device or expedient
a : an artful stratagem : trick
b : false or insincere behavior
Examples of artifice in a sentence
He spoke without artifice or pretense.
The whole story was just an artifice to win our sympathy.
Did You Know?
Do great actors display artifice or art? Sometimes a bit of both. "Artifice" stresses creative skill or intelligence, but also implies a sense of falseness and trickery. "Art" generally rises above such falseness, suggesting instead an unanalyzable creative force. Actors may rely on some of each, but the personae they display in their roles are usually artificial creations. Therein lies a lexical connection between "art" and "artifice." Artifice derives from "artificium," Latin for artifice (that root also gave English "artificial"). "Artificium" in turn developed from "ars," the Latin root underlying the word art (and related terms such as "artist" and "artisan").
Middle French, from Latin artificium, from artific-, artifex artificer, from Latin art-, ars + facere, do