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artifice (noun) a clever use of a trick to deceive people; a trick
When a person plays a trick on others to deceive them, he uses artifice. Artifice is just deception. Artifice is frequent in politics, and is used by dishonest people. In war time too, the sides fighting the war may resort to artifice, as force does not always help them to win. A trick is also an artifice. Disguise, that is, a person in the guise of another person is an artifice.
- Artifice is possible only for the very clever. It requires a genius to device an artifice, but, at the same time, it is the genius of a wicked mind.
- In Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck, the mischievous spirit tries his artifice on the Athenian craftsman Bottom.