Ar"ti*fice (#), n. [L. artificium, fr. artifex artificer; ars, artis, art + facere to make: cf. F. artifice.]

1.

A handicraft; a trade; art of making.

[Obs.]

2.

Workmanship; a skillfully contrived work.

The material universe.. in the artifice of God, the artifice of the best Mechanist. Cudworth.

3.

Artful or skillful contrivance.

His [Congreve's] plots were constructed without much artifice. Craik.

4.

Crafty device; an artful, ingenious, or elaborate trick. [Now the usual meaning.]

Those who were conscious of guilt employed numerous artifices for the purpose of averting inquiry. Macaulay.

 

© Webster 1913.

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