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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 spelling of artefact


or ar•te•fact

(ˈɑr təˌfækt)

1. any object made by human beings, esp. with a view to subsequent use.
2. a handmade object, as a tool, or the remains of one, as a shard of pottery, belonging to an earlier time or cultural stage, esp. such an object found at an archaeological excavation.
3. a substance or structure not naturally present in the matter being observed but formed by artificial means, as during preparation of a microscope slide.
4. a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory procedures.
5. any feature that is not naturally present but is a product of an extrinsic agent.
[1815–25; variant of artefact < Latin phrase arte factum (something) made with skill. See art1, fact]
ar`ti•fac•ti′tious (-fækˈtɪʃ əs) adj.
ar`ti•fac′tu•al (-ˈfæk tʃu əl) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.artifact - a man-made object taken as a wholeartifact - a man-made object taken as a whole  
whole, unit - an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity; "how big is that part compared to the whole?"; "the team is a unit"
article - one of a class of artifacts; "an article of clothing"
facility - something designed and created to serve a particular function and to afford a particular convenience or service; "catering facilities"; "toilet facilities"; "educational facilities"
Americana - any artifact (such as books or furniture or art) that is distinctive of America
anachronism - an artifact that belongs to another time
antiquity - an artifact surviving from the past
block - a solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides); "the pyramids were built with large stone blocks"
button - any artifact that resembles a button
commodity, trade good, good - articles of commerce
cone - any cone-shaped artifact
covering - an artifact that covers something else (usually to protect or shelter or conceal it)
creation - an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone
decker - (often used in combinations) something constructed with multiple levels; "they rode in a double-decker bus"
decoration, ornament, ornamentation - something used to beautify
electroplate - any artifact that has been plated with a thin coat of metal by electrolysis
excavation - a hole in the ground made by excavating
duplicate, extra - something additional of the same kind; "he always carried extras in case of an emergency"
cloth, fabric, textile, material - artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers; "the fabric in the curtains was light and semitransparent"; "woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC"; "she measured off enough material for a dress"
facility, installation - a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry; "the assembly plant is an enormous facility"
fixture - an object firmly fixed in place (especially in a household)
float - something that floats on the surface of water
insert, inset - an artifact that is inserted or is to be inserted
instrumentation, instrumentality - an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end
layer, bed - single thickness of usually some homogeneous substance; "slices of hard-boiled egg on a bed of spinach"
stinker, lemon - an artifact (especially an automobile) that is defective or unsatisfactory
line - something (as a cord or rope) that is long and thin and flexible; "a washing line"
marker - some conspicuous object used to distinguish or mark something; "the buoys were markers for the channel"
mystification - something designed to mystify or bewilder
opening - a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made; "they left a small opening for the cat at the bottom of the door"
cushioning, padding - artifact consisting of soft or resilient material used to fill or give shape or protect or add comfort
plaything, toy - an artifact designed to be played with
ready-made - a manufactured artifact (as a garment or piece of furniture) that is made in advance and available for purchase; "their apartment was furnished with ready-mades"
restoration - some artifact that has been restored or reconstructed; "the restoration looked exactly like the original"
flat solid, sheet - a flat artifact that is thin relative to its length and width
sphere - any spherically shaped artifact
square - any artifact having a shape similar to a plane geometric figure with four equal sides and four right angles; "a checkerboard has 64 squares"
squeaker - any artifact that makes a squeaking sound when used; "those sneakers are squeakers"; "which hinge is the squeaker?"
strip, slip - artifact consisting of a narrow flat piece of material
structure, construction - a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts; "the structure consisted of a series of arches"; "she wore her hair in an amazing construction of whirls and ribbons"
surface - the outer boundary of an artifact or a material layer constituting or resembling such a boundary; "there is a special cleaner for these surfaces"; "the cloth had a pattern of red dots on a white surface"
thing - an artifact; "how does this thing work?"
track - a pair of parallel rails providing a runway for wheels
way - any artifact consisting of a road or path affording passage from one place to another; "he said he was looking for the way out"
weight - an artifact that is heavy
building material - material used for constructing buildings
paving, paving material, pavement - material used to pave an area
natural object - an object occurring naturally; not made by man


[ˈɑːrtɪfækt] n (US)objet m fabriqué
References in periodicals archive ?
will present a proposal to repurpose building artifacts from the Marriott block and the Board of Trade Building into the design of the future Waterfront Botanical Gardens, now under construction.
You are invited to donate or loan your hotel memorabilia from famed parties and celebrations, tea service, banquet elements, building artifacts and amenities, ephemera, culinary feats, and historic photographs, and more.
The lobby displays building artifacts, antique silver pieces manufactured on-site, various molds, and even silver items from a former on-site store, which were all unearthed in a duct.

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