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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Collins
World English Dictionary
artifact (ˈɑːtɪˌfækt)
 
n
a variant spelling of artefact

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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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
It is difficult to get a fair hearing for pictorial and artifactual evidence if one's attention is elsewhere.
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