) KEY NOUN:
- An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.
- Something viewed as a product of human conception or agency rather than an inherent element: "The very act of looking at a naked model was an artifact of male supremacy" (Philip Weiss).
- A structure or feature not normally present but visible as a result of an external agent or action, such as one seen in a microscopic specimen after fixation, or in an image produced by radiology or electrocardiography.
- 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.
, ablative of ars
; see art1
, something made
(from neuter past participle of facere
, to make
; see dh-
in Indo-European roots)OTHER FORMS:arti·factu·al
l) KEY (Adjective)