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also ar·te·fact  (är′tə-făkt′)
1. An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.
2. Something viewed as a product of human conception or agency rather than an inherent element: "Morality is an artifact of human culture, devised to help us negotiate social relations" (Michael Pollan).
3. A phenomenon or feature not originally present or expected and caused by an interfering external agent, action, or process, as an unwanted feature in a microscopic specimen after fixation, in a digitally reproduced image, or in a digital audio recording.
4. An inaccurate observation, effect, or result, especially one resulting from the technology used in scientific investigation or from experimental error: The apparent pattern in the data was an artifact of the collection method.

[Latin arte, ablative of ars, art; see art1 + factum, something made (from neuter past participle of facere, to make; see dhē- in Indo-European roots).]

ar′ti·fac′tu·al (-făk′cho͝o-əl) adj.


a variant of artefactual
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.artifactual - of or relating to artifactsartifactual - of or relating to artifacts    
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Inadvertent corneal indentation can cause artifactitious widening of the iridocorneal angle on ultrasound biomicroscopy.
The possibility that this apparent correlation is artifactitious - a concern appropriate to all six of these unanticipated correlations - is stressed in this instance.
- The possibility that one or more of these six correlations may be artifactitious must be considered, and a word about what this means is in order.