artifice (n.) Look up artifice at
1530s, "workmanship, the making of anything by craft or skill," from Middle French artifice "skill, cunning" (14c.), from Latin artificium "a profession, trade, employment, craft; making by art," from artifex (genitive artificis) "craftsman, artist," from stem of ars "art" (see art (n.)) + facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Meaning "device, trick" (the usual modern sense) is from 1650s.