Word of the Day Archive
Monday May 1, 2000
subterfuge \SUB-tur-fyooj\ , noun:
A deceptive device or stratagem.
In the end, however, all the stealth and subterfuge were for naught, as the young publicity agent couldn't keep the secret.
-- Larry Tye, The Father of Spin
She has also complained . . . that the reporter used subterfuge to interview her, pretending to be the mother of an inmate.
-- Roy Greenslade, "Filthy rags", The Guardian, January 11, 2001
He is adept at subterfuge, at gaining entry to factories by masquerading as a laborer, a wholesaler, an exporter.
-- Jonathan Silvers, "Child Labor in Pakistan", The Atlantic, February 1996
Subterfuge comes from Late Latin subterfugium, "a secret flight," from Latin subterfugere, "to flee in secret, to evade," from subter, "underneath, underhand, in secret" + fugere, "to flee." It is related to fugitive, one who flees.