Definition of artifice in US English:

artifice

noun

  • Clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others.

    ‘the style is not free from the artifices of the period’
    ‘artifice and outright fakery’
    • ‘There is no pretense, no artifice, no meaning, other than what you carry out after you've wiped the fiftieth tear of laughter out of your eye.’
    • ‘The jury whose votes ultimately decide what's art and what's artifice are, after all, human.’
    • ‘He alone supplied the deft and necessary touch of self-conscious theatrical artifice.’
    • ‘But Murakami's narration moves along calmly and without clutter or artifice.’
    • ‘Wenders always wants it both ways: high artifice and incorruptible honesty.’
    • ‘Salgado prettifies through photographic artifice what ought to be shown in its true colors.’
    • ‘Fernandez, like many artists before her, engages in a dialogue between artifice and nature.’
    • ‘Parker exposes the vanity, artifice and delusion that stand behind these apparently candid books.’
    • ‘The women are collective composites of art and artifice, fact and fiction.’
    • ‘Whatever the cause, this interview held my interest and seemed free from artifice.’
    • ‘Above all, these works set as their priorities artifice and visual pleasure.’
    • ‘For some, the synthetic world of artifice and self-promotion that is popular music appears to have an irresistible lure.’
    • ‘Dogme is dedicated to ridding cinema of artifice and superficiality.’
    • ‘With their knowing artifice, the works achieved a stifling kind of perfection.’
    • ‘The purpose of art is not to deny artifice but to manage it so well that it appears inevitable.’
    • ‘The Fast Runner is a rarity among movies in that it seems completely free of artifice.’
    • ‘In turning the genre inside out, Godard creates a world in which real emotions resemble artifice.’
    • ‘The public meeting has decayed, and what voters see on TV is constructed around artifice and falsehood.’
    • ‘Between the extremes of naturalism and overt artifice there are transitional pieces that combine both modes.’
    • ‘A master at work, he commands the screen with an effortless ease and a complete lack of artifice or contrivance.’
    trickery, deviousness, deceit, deception, dishonesty, cheating, duplicity, guile, cunning, artfulness, wiliness, craft, craftiness, evasion, slyness, chicanery, intrigue, subterfuge, strategy, bluff, pretence
    device, trick, stratagem, ploy, tactic, ruse, scheme, move, manoeuvre, contrivance, machination, expedient, wile, dodge
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

artifice

/ˈärdəfəs//ˈɑrdəfəs/