Share this entry

Share this page

artifice

Line breaks: arti|fice
Pronunciation: /ˈɑːtɪfɪs
 
/

Definition of artifice in English:

noun

[mass noun]
Clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others: an industry dominated by artifice [count noun]: the style is not free from the artifices of the period
More example sentences
  • Wenders always wants it both ways: high artifice and incorruptible honesty.
  • A master at work, he commands the screen with an effortless ease and a complete lack of artifice or contrivance.
  • But Murakami's narration moves along calmly and without clutter or artifice.
Synonyms

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'workmanship'): from Old French, from Latin artificium, based on ars, art- 'art' + facere 'make'.

More
  • art from (Middle English):

    Originally art was simply ‘skill at doing something’. Its use in the modern sense dates from the early 17th century. The word comes from Latin ars, from a base which meant ‘to put together, join, or fit’. There are many related words which stress the more practical roots of the word. These include artefact (early 19th century) from Latin arte factum ‘something made by art’; artifice (Late Middle English) from the same roots; and artisan from the Latin for ‘instructed in the arts’. The phrase art for art's sake conveys the idea that the chief or only aim of a work of art is the self-expression of the artist who creates it. It was the slogan of the Aesthetic Movement, which flourished in England during the 1880s. The Latin version of the phrase, ars gratia artis, is the motto of the film company MGM, and appears around the roaring lion in its famous logo. Art deco, was shortened from French art décoratif ‘decorative art’, from the 1925 Exhibition title Exposition des Arts décoratifs in Paris. Latin iners which gives us inert (mid 17th century) and inertia (early 18th century) meant ‘unskilled, inactive’, and was formed as the opposite of ars.

Words that rhyme with artifice

orificeoffice

Definition of artifice in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure