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[strat-uh-juh m] /ˈstræt ə dʒəm/
a plan, scheme, or trick for surprising or deceiving an enemy.
any artifice, ruse, or trick devised or used to attain a goal or to gain an advantage over an adversary or competitor:
business stratagems.
Origin of stratagem
1480-90; (< Middle French stratageme) < Italian stratagemma war ruse < Latin stratēgēma < Greek stratḗgēma instance of generalship, derivative of stratēgeîn to be in command, derivative of stratēgós military commander (see strategy)
Related forms
[strat-uh-jem-i-kuh l] /ˌstræt əˈdʒɛm ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
stratagemically, adverb
Can be confused
stratagem, strategy, tactic (see synonym study at strategy)
1, 2. See trick. 2. deception, intrigue, device, maneuver, contrivance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stratagem
  • It is a stratagem of the novelist no less than of the playwright to symbolize physically the moral nature of a character.
British Dictionary definitions for stratagem


a plan or trick, esp one to deceive an enemy
Word Origin
C15: ultimately from Greek stratēgos a general, from stratos an army + agein to lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for stratagem

"artifice, trick," late 15c., from Middle French stratagème "trick, especially to outwit an enemy," from Italian stratagemma, from Latin strategema "artifice, stratagem," from Greek strategema "the act of a general, military stratagem," from strategein "to be a general, command," from strategos "general" (see strategy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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