\Ar"ti*fice\, n. [L. artificium, fr. artifex artificer; ars, artis, art + facere to make: cf. F. artifice.] 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.
Note: [Now the usual meaning.]
Those who were conscious of guilt employed numerous artifices for the purpose of averting inquiry. --Macaulay.