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artifice

[ahr-tuh-fis] /ˈɑr tə fɪs/
noun
1.
a clever trick or stratagem; a cunning, crafty device or expedient; wile.
2.
trickery; guile; craftiness.
3.
cunning; ingenuity; inventiveness:
a drawing-room comedy crafted with artifice and elegance.
4.
a skillful or artful contrivance or expedient.
Origin of artifice
1525-1535
1525-35; < Anglo-French < Latin artificium craftsmanship, art, craftiness, equivalent to arti-, combining form of ars art1 + -fic-, combining form of facere to do1, make + -ium + -ium
Synonyms
1. subterfuge. See trick. 2. deception, deceit, art, duplicity. See cunning.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for artifice

artifice

/ˈɑːtɪfɪs/
noun
1.
a clever expedient; ingenious stratagem
2.
crafty or subtle deception
3.
skill; cleverness
4.
a skilfully contrived device
5.
(obsolete) craftsmanship
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, from Latin artificium skill, from artifex one possessed of a specific skill, from ars skill + -fex, from facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for artifice
n.

1530s, "workmanship, the making of anything by craft or skill," from Middle French artifice "skill, cunning" (14c.), from Latin artificium "a profession, trade, employment, craft; making by art," from artifex (genitive artificis) "craftsman, artist," from ars "art" (see art (n.)) + facere "do" (see factitious). Meaning "device, trick" (the usual modern sense) is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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