The dictionary defines artifact as:
artefact, artifact [ˈɑːtɪˌfækt] n
something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest
anything man-made, such as a spurious experimental result
(Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Biology) Cytology a structure seen in tissue after death, fixation, staining, etc., that is not normally present in the living tissue
artifact often appears in software development, software development cycles, effort estimation, etc. But the above definition doesn't make sense to me in that context.
Could someone please explain this word by giving some specific examples from software industry?