from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An artful or crafty expedient; a stratagem. See Synonyms at wile.
- n. Subtle but base deception; trickery.
- n. Cleverness or skill; ingenuity.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A crafty but underhanded deception.
- n. A trick played out as an ingenious, but artful, ruse.
- n. A strategic maneuver that uses some clever means to avoid detection or capture.
- n. A tactical move to gain advantage.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A handicraft; a trade; art of making.
- n. Workmanship; a skillfully contrived work.
- n. Artful or skillful contrivance.
- n. Crafty device; an artful, ingenious, or elaborate trick. [Now the usual meaning.]
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. . The art of making.
- n. An ingenious or skilfully contrived work.
- n. Skill in designing and employing expedients; artful contrivance; address; trickery.
- n. A crafty device; an ingenious expedient; trick; shift; piece of finesse.
- n. Synonyms Artifice, Manæuver, Stratagem, Wile, Trick, Ruse, Finesse, device, contrivance, cunning, craft, deception, cheat, fraud, guile, imposition, dodge, subterfuge, double-dealing. These words generally imply a careful endeavor to compass an end by deceiving others, not necessarily, however, with evil intent. They all imply management and address. An artifice is prepared with art or care; it is craftily devised. Manæuver suggests something more elaborate or intricate, a carefully contrived movement or course of action for a definite purpose; it is the quiet or secret marshaling of one's intellectual or other resources to carry a point. Stratagem is, like manæuver, a figurative term drawn from war; it is upon a larger scale what wile is upon a smaller, a device to deceive one who is the object of an imagined warfare, so that we may catch him at a disadvantage and discomfit him, or, more generally, a carefully prepared plan to carry one's point with another—to capture it or him, so to speak. A wile may be peculiarly coaxing or insinuating. Trick is the lowest and most dishonorable of these words; it may be a low or underhand act, in violation of honor or propriety, for the purpose of cheating, or something as bad. A ruse is a deception of some elaborateness, intended to cover one's intentions, help one to escape from a predicament, etc.; it is a plausible way of bringing about what we desire to happen, without apparent interference on our part. Finesse is subtlety in action; it is a more delicate sort of artifice. See artful, evasion, and fraud.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture)
French, from Old French, craftsmanship, from Latin artificium, from artifex, artific-, craftsman : ars, art-, art; see art1 + -fex, maker.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French artifice < Latin artificium. (Wiktionary)