One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Artificially created or contrived; not natural, spontaneous, or genuine; feigned, affected.
2Cunning, artful. Chiefly in negative sense. Now rare.
Late 15th century (in an earlier sense). From Middle French, French artificieux seeking to deceive by cunning, (of a person) skilful, skilfully made and its etymon classical Latin artificiōsus in accordance with the rules of an art, prescribed by art, technical, accomplished, involving artistry, skilfully contrived, ingenious from artificium + -ōsus. Compare Old Occitan artificios, Catalan artificiós, Spanish artificioso, Portuguese artificioso, Italian artificioso.
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