Synonym Chooser

How is the word ruse different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of ruse are artifice, feint, maneuver, stratagem, trick, and wile. While all these words mean "an indirect means to gain an end," ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression.

the ruses of smugglers

When would artifice be a good substitute for ruse?

The meanings of artifice and ruse largely overlap; however, artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention.

the clever artifices of the stage

When is it sensible to use feint instead of ruse?

While in some cases nearly identical to ruse, feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent.

a feint toward the enemy's left flank

When might maneuver be a better fit than ruse?

In some situations, the words maneuver and ruse are roughly equivalent. However, maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty.

last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy

When can stratagem be used instead of ruse?

The synonyms stratagem and ruse are sometimes interchangeable, but stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy.

the stratagem-filled game

When could trick be used to replace ruse?

The words trick and ruse can be used in similar contexts, but trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end.

the tricks of the trade

When is wile a more appropriate choice than ruse?

Although the words wile and ruse have much in common, wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements.

used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself

Thesaurus Entries Near ruse

Cite this Entry

“Ruse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on ruse

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