Definition of artifact in English:


Syllabification: ar·ti·fact
Pronunciation: /ˈärtəfakt
(British artefact)


  • 1An object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest: gold and silver artifacts
    More example sentences
    • The National Museum in Nairobi has collections of historical and cultural artifacts and the museum at Fort Jesus in Mombasa is dedicated to archeology and history.
    • This treasury which is located inside a safe locked basement beneath the shrine contains historical artifacts, priceless manuscripts and a significant amount of gold and gems.
    • The museum houses a wealth of interesting historical artifacts, including the original shop restored to its original condition.
    relic, article; handiwork
  • 2Something observed in a scientific investigation or experiment that is not naturally present but occurs as a result of the preparative or investigative procedure: widespread tissue infection may be a technical artifact
    More example sentences
    • Note that the notal cleft seen in these preparations is an artifact of the mounting procedure.
    • Therefore, it is unlikely that the results presented are an artifact of presenting the stimuli fish in bottles.
    • Could the observed bundling be an artifact of specimen preparation for electron microscopy?



Pronunciation: /ˌärtəˈfakCHo͞oəl/
More example sentences
  • The emphasis is on the visceral, the emotive, and the artifactual; the museum personalizes history, encouraging visitors to identify with and put themselves in the place of the victims.
  • Two others exploit the artifactual conditions that people create where they build their towns and villages.
  • Road to Perdition is probably too detached, too self-consciously artefactual to glamorise anything very much.


early 19th century: from Latin arte 'by or using art' + factum 'something made' (neuter past participle of facere 'make').

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