Artifice refers to a clever or cunning device or trick, often used to deceive others.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



Ruse, stratagem, ploy, trickery, deception, cunning, scheme, tactic, wile, subterfuge.


Honesty, candor, sincerity, straightforwardness.

Example sentences

  • The artifice of the magician left the audience stunned and amazed.
  • He used every artifice at his disposal to win the election.
  • The burglar employed a clever artifice to gain entry into the house undetected.
  • The artist used artifice to create the illusion of depth in the painting.


The word “artifice” comes from the Latin word “artificium,” which means “skill” or “craftsmanship.” It is typically used to describe a clever or cunning device or trick, often used to deceive others.

The use of artifice can be seen in a variety of contexts, including politics, business, and entertainment. Politicians may use artifice to manipulate public opinion or gain an advantage over their opponents. Businesspeople may use artifice to gain an advantage in negotiations or to market their products more effectively. In entertainment, artifice is often used to create illusions and special effects that captivate audiences.

The root of “artifice” is “arti-,” which comes from the Latin word “ars,” meaning “art” or “skill.” The suffix “-fice” means “to make” or “to do.” The combination of these elements implies the idea of making or doing something skillfully, but also with a sense of deception or trickery.

In terms of usage, “artifice” is often used in a negative context, and may be associated with dishonesty or deception. However, it can also be used in a more positive sense to describe a clever or ingenious solution to a problem. It is important to note that the word “artifice” is often used in formal or literary contexts and may not be commonly used in everyday conversation