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. noun
    a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture)
    synonyms: ruse
    see moresee less
    type of:
    maneuver, manoeuvre, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre
    a move made to gain a tactical end
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