subterfuge was our Word of the Day on 12/20/2011. Hear the podcast!
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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”
Recent Examples of subterfuge from the Web
Isabelle is flummoxed by her own gullibility and even more so by the subterfuges of the men (played by, among others, Xavier Beauvois, Nicolas Duvauchelle and, in a cameo at the end, Gérard Depardieu).
This is subterfuge; what the union president means is that council doesn’t adequately represent him.
There's a lot of strategy involved and likely a lot of subterfuge taking place.
Mirror face can allow for inspection and evaluation (turning the head, hair thrown back, to examine a jaw) or subterfuge (locating the angle that straightens a nose).
Providing yet another attack vector for political malfeasance and subterfuge.
Roy’s father turns to mild subterfuge to help his son win Celestial back.
Already, rumors abound that Zuma was a satellite intended to monitor or intercept nuclear activities by North Korea and that the story about its failure is a matter of subterfuge.
And social media should be open to scrutiny, so that anyone can identify who is paying for ads and so that researchers can more easily root out subterfuge.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subterfuge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
subterfuge Has Latin Roots
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.
Origin and Etymology of subterfuge
artfulness, caginess (also cageyness), craftiness, cunning, deviousness, foxiness, oiliness, shadiness, sharpness, shiftiness, shrewdness, slickness, slipperiness, slyness, sneakiness, treachery, underhandedness, wiliness;
Synonym Discussion of subterfuge
- magicians are masters of deception
- indicted for fraud
- a go-between suspected of double-dealing
- obtained the papers by subterfuge
- resorted to trickery to gain their ends
SUBTERFUGE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of subterfuge for English Language Learners
: the use of tricks especially to hide, avoid, or get something
Seen and Heard
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