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artifact

[ahr-tuh-fakt] /ˈɑr təˌfækt/
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
1815-1825
1815-25; variant of artefact < Latin phrase arte factum (something) made with skill. See art, fact
Related forms
artifactual
[ahr-tuh-fak-choo-uh l] /ˌɑr təˈfæk tʃu əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for artifact
  • 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.
  • I'm hoping this is an artifact of spellcheck.
  • The universe looks more like a designed artifact than a random event.
  • Until now, the only way to learn how an artifact was made was to take it apart, something no archaeologist was willing to do.
  • They are cultural as well as geographical artifacts.
  • It isn't a towering edifice or a dusty artifact of an ancient time.
  • The higher fuel efficiency is an artifact of a debt reduction strategy.
British Dictionary definitions for artifact

artefact

/ˈɑːtɪˌfækt/
noun
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
Word Origin
C19: from Latin phrase arte factum, from ars skill + facere to make

artifact

/ˈɑːtɪˌfækt/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of artefact
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for artifact
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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artifact in Medicine

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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artifact in Science
artifact also artefact
  (är'tə-fākt')   
  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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