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’
    • ‘Dogme is dedicated to ridding cinema of artifice and superficiality.’
    • ‘The Fast Runner is a rarity among movies in that it seems completely free of artifice.’
    • ‘The women are collective composites of art and artifice, fact and fiction.’
    • ‘The jury whose votes ultimately decide what's art and what's artifice are, after all, human.’
    • ‘Salgado prettifies through photographic artifice what ought to be shown in its true colors.’
    • ‘But Murakami's narration moves along calmly and without clutter or artifice.’
    • ‘For some, the synthetic world of artifice and self-promotion that is popular music appears to have an irresistible lure.’
    • ‘Above all, these works set as their priorities artifice and visual pleasure.’
    • ‘Parker exposes the vanity, artifice and delusion that stand behind these apparently candid books.’
    • ‘A master at work, he commands the screen with an effortless ease and a complete lack of artifice or contrivance.’
    • ‘With their knowing artifice, the works achieved a stifling kind of perfection.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The purpose of art is not to deny artifice but to manage it so well that it appears inevitable.’
    • ‘He alone supplied the deft and necessary touch of self-conscious theatrical artifice.’
    • ‘Between the extremes of naturalism and overt artifice there are transitional pieces that combine both modes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wenders always wants it both ways: high artifice and incorruptible honesty.’
    • ‘Fernandez, like many artists before her, engages in a dialogue between artifice and nature.’
    • ‘Whatever the cause, this interview held my interest and seemed free from artifice.’
    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

/ˈɑrdəfəs//ˈärdəfəs/