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[suhb-ter-fyooj] /ˈsʌb tərˌfyudʒ/
an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.
Origin of subterfuge
1565-75; < Late Latin subterfugium, equivalent to Latin subterfug(ere) to evade (subter below + fugere to flee) + -ium -ium
deception, scheme, trick, dodge, ruse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subterfuge
  • Playing to the referee does not always require such subterfuge.
  • The more subterfuge a newspaper uses, the weightier the public interest defence that is needed.
  • If you've had to resort to subterfuge, tell us about it in the comments section.
  • It was determined that the abolishments were not done as a subterfuge for political reasons.
  • The practice would generally be regarded as a subterfuge upon the part of the judge.
British Dictionary definitions for subterfuge


a stratagem employed to conceal something, evade an argument, etc
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin subterfugium, from Latin subterfugere to escape by stealth, from subter secretly + fugere to flee
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 subterfuge

1570s, from Middle French subterfuge, from Late Latin subterfugium "an evasion," from Latin subterfugere "to evade, escape, flee by stealth," from subter "beneath, secretly" + fugere "flee" (see fugitive).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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