artifact

[ahr-tuh-fakt]
noun
1.
any object made by human beings, especially with a view to subsequent use.
2.
a handmade object, as a tool, or the remains of one, as a shard of pottery, characteristic of an earlier time or cultural stage, especially such an object found at an archaeological excavation.
3.
any mass-produced, usually inexpensive object reflecting contemporary society or popular culture: artifacts of the pop rock generation.
4.
a substance or structure not naturally present in the matter being observed but formed by artificial means, as during preparation of a microscope slide.
5.
a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory or investigative procedures.
6.
any feature that is not naturally present but is a product of an extrinsic agent, method, or the like: statistical artifacts that make the inflation rate seem greater than it is.
Also, artefact.


Origin:
1815–25; variant of artefact < Latin phrase arte factum (something) made with skill. See art, fact

artifactual [ahr-tuh-fak-choo-uhl] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
artefact or artifact (ˈɑːtɪˌfækt)
 
n
1.  something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest
2.  anything man-made, such as a spurious experimental result
3.  cytology a structure seen in tissue after death, fixation, staining, etc, that is not normally present in the living tissue
 
[C19: from Latin phrase arte factum, from ars skill + facere to make]
 
artifact or artifact
 
n
 
[C19: from Latin phrase arte factum, from ars skill + facere to make]

artifact (ˈɑːtɪˌfækt)
 
n
a variant spelling of artefact

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

artifact
1821 (artefact) "anything made by human art," from It. artefatto, from L. arte "by skill" (ablative of ars "art;" see art (n.)) + factum "thing made," from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Archaeological application dates from 1890. Artifactual (also artefactual) is recorded from 1950.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

artifact ar·ti·fact or ar·te·fact (är'tə-fākt')
n.

  1. A structure or substance not normally present but produced by an external agent or action, such as a structure seen in a microscopic specimen after fixation that is not present in the living tissue.

  2. A skin lesion produced or perpetuated by self-inflicted action.


ar'ti·fac·ti'tious (-fāk-tĭsh'əs) or ar'ti·fac'tu·al (-fāk'chu-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
artifact also artefact   (är'tə-fākt')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.

  2. An artificial product or effect observed in a natural system, especially one introduced by the technology used in scientific investigation or by experimental error.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Experienced diggers recommend use of a separate bag for the artifacts found at
  a specific depth in a specific square.
Retirement is not entirely an artifact of social norms.
The apparent pattern in the data was an artifact of the collection method.
Each artifact recovered was catalogued and its exact location plotted with
  scaled diagrams.
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