AskDefine | Define artifice

Dictionary Definition

artifice n : a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture) [syn: ruse]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a crafty but underhanded deception
  2. a trick played out as an ingenious, but artful, ruse
  3. a strategic maneuver that uses some clever means to avoid detection or capture
  4. a tactical move to gain advantage


Related terms

Extensive Definition

Artificial is something which is not natural. Its original sense, related to artifact and artifice, refers to a product of human endeavor; a more English but gendered synonym is man-made. It is also used to mean "false", a substitute for the real thing, as in artificial turf or artificial sweetener.
artifice in Catalan: Artificial
artifice in French: Artificiel
artifice in Dutch: Kunstmatig
artifice in Urdu: مصنوعی

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Gongorism, Italian hand, Machiavellianism, action, acuteness, ad hoc measure, adeptness, adroitness, affectation, affectedness, ambidexterity, answer, art, artful dodge, artfulness, artificiality, astuteness, bad faith, bag of tricks, blind, bluff, bosey, cabal, cageyness, callidity, canniness, catch, chicane, chicanery, chouse, cleverness, collusion, complicity, complot, confederacy, connivance, connivery, conspiracy, contrivance, contriving, countermove, counterplot, coup, course of action, covin, craft, craftiness, cunning, cunningness, curve, curve-ball, cute trick, deceit, deceitfulness, deception, deep-laid plot, demarche, design, device, dirty deal, dirty trick, dishonesty, dissimulation, dodge, dodgery, double-dealing, doubleness, doubleness of heart, duplicity, effort, engineering, euphemism, euphuism, expedient, faithlessness, fakement, falseheartedness, falseness, fast deal, feint, fetch, ficelle, finagling, fine Italian hand, finesse, foul play, foxiness, frame-up, gambit, game, gamesmanship, gimmick, googly, grift, guile, hocus-pocus, hyperelegance, improbity, improvisation, ingeniousness, ingenuity, insidiousness, intrigue, inventiveness, joker, juggle, jugglery, jury-rig, jury-rigged expedient, keenness, knavery, last expedient, last resort, last shift, little game, low cunning, machination, makeshift, maneuver, maneuvering, manipulation, manneredness, mannerism, means, measure, move, one-upmanship, originality, overelaboration, overelegance, overniceness, overrefinement, pass, pettifoggery, pettifogging, pis aller, plot, plotting, ploy, preciosity, preciousness, pretentiousness, proficiency, purism, quickness, racket, rascality, readiness, red herring, resort, resource, resourcefulness, rigging, ruse, satanic cunning, scheme, schemery, scheming, scurvy trick, shake-up, sharp practice, sharpness, shift, shiftiness, shrewdness, skill, skulduggery, sleight, sleight of hand, sleight-of-hand trick, slipperiness, slyness, sneakiness, solution, sophistry, stealth, stealthiness, step, stopgap, stratagem, strategy, stroke, stroke of policy, subterfuge, subtilty, subtleness, subtlety, supercherie, suppleness, tactic, temporary expedient, treachery, trick, trickery, trickiness, trump, two-facedness, underhand dealing, underhandedness, underplot, unnaturalness, wariness, web of intrigue, wile, wiles, wiliness, wily device, wire-pulling, wit, working hypothesis, working proposition
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