noun sub·ter·fuge \ˈsəb-tər-ˌfyüj\

: the use of tricks especially to hide, avoid, or get something

Full Definition of SUBTERFUGE

:  deception by artifice or strategem in order to conceal, escape, or evade
:  a deceptive device or stratagem

Examples of SUBTERFUGE

  1. And the same kind of subterfuge that causes employees to open a virus-laden attachment could also lead them to unknowingly install programs that ship all their data to unscrupulous competitors. —Paul Wallich, Scientific American, July 2000


Late Latin subterfugium, from Latin subterfugere to escape, evade, from subter- secretly (from subter underneath; akin to Latin sub under) + fugere to flee — more at up, fugitive
First Known Use: 1573

Synonym Discussion of SUBTERFUGE

deception, fraud, double-dealing, subterfuge, trickery mean the acts or practices of one who deliberately deceives. deception may or may not imply blameworthiness, since it may suggest cheating or merely tactical resource <magicians are masters of deception>. fraud always implies guilt and often criminality in act or practice <indicted for fraud>. double-dealing suggests treachery or at least action contrary to a professed attitude <a go-between suspected of double-dealing>. subterfuge suggests the adoption of a stratagem or the telling of a lie in order to escape guilt or to gain an end <obtained the papers by subterfuge>. trickery implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat <resorted to trickery to gain their ends>.

Rhymes with SUBTERFUGE


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