- any object made by human beings, especially with a view to subsequent use.
- a handmade object, as a tool, or the remains of one, as a shard of pottery, characteristic of an earlier time or cultural stage, especially such an object found at an archaeological excavation.
- any mass-produced, usually inexpensive object reflecting contemporary society or popular culture: artifacts of the pop rock generation.
- a substance or structure not naturally present in the matter being observed but formed by artificial means, as during preparation of a microscope slide.
- a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory or investigative procedures.
- any feature that is not naturally present but is a product of an extrinsic agent, method, or the like: statistical artifacts that make the inflation rate seem greater than it is.
- a variant spelling of
1821, artefact, “anything made by human art,” from Italian artefatto, from Latin arte “by skill” (ablative of ars “art;” see (n.)) + factum “thing made,” from facere “to make, do” (see ). The spelling with -i- is by 1884, by influence of the Latin stem. Archaeological application dates from 1890.
- A structure or substance not normally present but produced by an external agent or action, such as a structure seen in a microscopic specimen after fixation that is not present in the living tissue.
- A skin lesion produced or perpetuated by self-inflicted action.
- An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.
- An artificial product or effect observed in a natural system, especially one introduced by the technology used in scientific investigation or by experimental error.