artifice

If a politician pretends to be angry as a way of rousing the anger of the voters and getting more votes, he's guilty of artifice — a subtle and crafty trick.

Before taking on its current meaning, artifice meant a skilled piece of workmanship. A beautiful diamond bracelet might have been considered a piece of artifice, for example; now it would only be called artifice if the diamonds were fake.

DEFINITIONS OF: artifice

1

n a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture)

Synonyms:
ruse
Type of:
maneuver, manoeuvre, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre
a move made to gain a tactical end
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