Ar"ti*fice (#), n. [L. artificium, fr. artifex artificer; ars, artis, art + facere to make: cf. F. artifice.]
A handicraft; a trade; art of making.
Workmanship; a skillfully contrived work.
The material universe.. in the artifice of God, the artifice of the best Mechanist.
Artful or skillful contrivance.
His [Congreve's] plots were constructed without much artifice.
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.
© Webster 1913.