Simple Definition of subterfuge
: the use of tricks especially to hide, avoid, or get something
Examples of subterfuge in a sentence
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
Williams has worn a wedding ring for the past decade. Originally it was a fake diamond used as a subterfuge during her days as an activist in Central America … —Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, February 1998
The first pool appeared on the scene in 1791, organized to manipulate stock of the U.S. Bank. Members of a pool contributed money, which was handed over to a single operator, who put into effect various strategies and subterfuges. He could depress the price of a stock, buy a lot at the low point, then artificially raise the price, and sell at a profit; or he might sell short, then depress the price and make a profit. —Kathleen Odean, High Steppers, Fallen Angels, and Lollipops, 1988
They obtained the documents by subterfuge.
<propagandists who use a kind of photographic subterfuge, superimposing one image on another to create a false “reality”>
Did You Know?
Though "subterfuge" is a synonym of "deception," "fraud," "double-dealing," and "trickery," there’s nothing tricky about the word’s etymology. We borrowed the word and meaning from Late Latin subterfugium. That word contains the Latin prefix subter-, meaning "secretly," which derives from the adverb subter, meaning "underneath." The "-fuge" portion comes from the Latin verb fugere, which means "to flee" and which is also the source of words such as "fugitive" and "refuge," among others.
Synonym Discussion of subterfuge
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