\ˈrüs, ˈrüz\

Definition of ruse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a wily subterfuge


geographical name
Ru·​se | \ˈrü-(ˌ)sā \
variants: or Turkish Ruschuk \ ru̇s-​ˈchük \

Definition of Ruse (Entry 2 of 2)

city in northeastern Bulgaria on the Danube River south of Bucharest population 148,500

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Choose the Right Synonym for ruse


trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end. the tricks of the trade ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression. the ruses of smugglers stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy. the stratagem-filled game maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty. last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention. the clever artifices of the stage wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements. used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent. a feint toward the enemy's left flank

Examples of ruse in a Sentence


His act was just a clever ruse to get me to go out with him.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Someone asking for water or money out on the road might just be a ruse to try to rob you. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most convincing open-world game ever made," 25 Oct. 2018 The ruse — acknowledged by a Saudi official and another Saudi briefed on the investigation into Khashoggi’s killing — added to the numerous doubts about the kingdom’s explanation of how the 59-year-old writer died. Ben Hubbard, The Seattle Times, "Khashoggi double sent to create false trail in Istanbul, surveillance images show," 22 Oct. 2018 The designers, especially Heather Gilbert, who has lit most of Cromer’s shows and who lights the way halfway to hell here, are in on the ruse. Chris Jones,, "In Adam Rapp's 'The Sound Inside' in Williamstown, Mary-Louise Parker is a Yale professor facing cancer," 8 July 2018 Helping to set matters straight for Claudio and Hero by uncovering Don John’s ruse is a Keystone Kops assemblage of inept constables in yellow parkas, led by the malapropism-prone Dogberry, portrayed by Simoes. Don Aucoin,, "A ‘Much Ado’ that brings Beyoncé to its battle of wits," 17 Apr. 2018 Clewell resigned last week from his position as historian of the Wisconsin American Legion after his ruse was discovered. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin American Legion official lied about serving in Vietnam," 17 June 2018 Many were concerned about what this ruse could mean for journalism. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: In 2018, Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction," 3 June 2018 Aurora police are looking for information about a ruse burglary that resulted in a substantial amount of money being stolen from an 88-year-old woman. Megan Jones, Aurora Beacon-News, "Burglars use ruse to steal large amount of money from 88-year-old Aurora woman: Police," 12 July 2018 Park Ridge Deputy Police Chief Duane Mellema said police worked with a a ruse burglary unit of the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force to investigate possible suspects. Jennifer Johnson,, "Mount Prospect man accused in home improvement scam targeting elderly Park Ridge couple," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ruse


1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ruse


French, from Old French, roundabout path taken by fleeing game, trickery, from reuser

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Learn More about ruse

Dictionary Entries near ruse






ruse de guerre


Statistics for ruse

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ruse

The first known use of ruse was in 1581

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More Definitions for ruse



English Language Learners Definition of ruse

: a trick or act that is used to fool someone


\ˈrüs, ˈrüz\

Kids Definition of ruse

: trick entry 1 sense 3, artifice The phone call was just a ruse to see if he was home.

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Comments on ruse

What made you want to look up ruse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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