n. subtle but base deception; trickery; cleverness or skill; ingenuity
The Trojan War proved to the Greeks that cunning and artifice were often more effective than military might.
Sentence in Classic:
Likewise, both window sills were studded with little heaps of ash, arranged, not without artifice, in rows of more or less tidiness.
Dead Souls By Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol Context
The city of Pistoja, as I have said already in connection with another matter, was won over to the Florentine republic by no other artifice than this.
Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius By Niccolo Machiavelli Context
I carried pistols and a dagger constantly about me and was ever on the watch to prevent artifice, and by these means gained a greater degree of tranquillity.
Frankenstein By Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley Context
In the broad hint which he dropped respecting the daughter of Waldemar Fitzurse, John had more than one motive, each the offspring of a mind, which was a strange mixture of carelessness and presumption with low artifice and cunning.
To tell people they may provide for themselves, by erecting a new legislative, when by oppression, artifice, or being delivered over to a foreign power, their old one is gone, is only to tell them, they may expect relief when it is too late, and the evil is past cure.
Second Treatise of Government By John Locke Context
When the young man mentioned the artifice he supposed the Indian to have practised on his own nation, the countenance of the listener was veiled in an expression of cautious gravity.
The Last of the Mohicans By James Fenimore Cooper Context