deception. T rick , artifice , ruse , stratagem , wile are terms for crafty or cunning devices that are intended to deceive. T rick , the general term, refers usually to an underhanded act designed to cheat someone, but it sometimes refers merely to a pleasurable deceiving of the senses: to win by a trick.
Like trick , but to a greater degree, artifice emphasizes the cleverness, ingenuity, or cunning with which the proceeding is devised: an artifice of diabolical ingenuity.
R use and stratagem emphasize the purpose for which the trick is designed; ruse is the more general term of the two, and stratagem sometimes implies a more elaborate procedure or a military application: He gained entrance by a ruse. His stratagem gave them command of the hill.
W ile emphasizes the disarming effect of the trick upon those who are deceived: His wiles charmed them into trusting him. 18.