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artifice Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture)
    ruse.
WordNet

Ar"ti*fice noun
Etymology
L. artificium, fr. artifex artificer; ars, artis, art + facere to make: cf. F. artifice.
Definitions
  1. A handicraft; a trade; art of making. Obs.
  2. Workmanship; a skillfully contrived work.
    The material universe.. in the artifice of God, the artifice of the best Mechanist. Cudworth.
  3. Artful or skillful contrivance.
    His [Congreve's] plots were constructed without much artifice. Craik.
  4. Crafty device; an artful, ingenious, or elaborate trick. Now the usual meaning.
    Those who were conscious of guilt employed numerous artifices for the purpose of averting inquiry. Macaulay.

Webster 1913