Artifact vs Relic - What's the difference?

artifact | relic |

As nouns the difference between artifact and relic

is that artifact is an object made or shaped by human hand while relic is that which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* artefact


(en noun)
  • An object made or shaped by human hand.
  • (archaeology) An object, such as a tool, weapon or ornament, of archaeological or historical interest, especially such an object found at an archaeological excavation.
  • The dig produced many Roman artifacts .
  • 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 finding in an experiment or investigation that is not a true feature of the object under observation, but is a result of external action, the test arrangement, or an experimental error.
  • The spot on his lung turned out to be an artifact of the X-ray process.
  • An object made or shaped by some agent or intelligence, not necessarily of direct human origin.
  • (computing) A perceptible distortion that appears in a digital image, audio or video file as a result of applying a lossy compression algorithm.
  • This JPEG image has been so highly compressed that it has too many unsightly compression artifacts , making it unsuitable for the cover of our magazine.


    * * "artefact" is the preferred spelling in Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary'', with ''artifact listed as a variant. * "artifact" is preferred by the Oxford English Dictionary and most American dictionaries.



    (wikipedia relic)

    Alternative forms

    * relick (archaic) * relique


    (en noun)
  • That which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion.
  • Something old kept for sentimental reasons.
  • (religion) A part of the body of a saint, or an ancient religious object, kept for veneration.
  • Usage notes

    By comparison with synonyms, relic' emphasizes ''age,'' and to some degree ''value'' – a “' relic of a lost civilization”.


    * (that which remains) remnant, remainder, residue, lave * halidom

    Derived terms

    * Relic Sunday