Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A military maneuver designed to deceive or surprise an enemy.
  • n. A clever, often underhanded scheme for achieving an objective. See Synonyms at wile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deceptive tactic designed to gain the upper hand. Typically, involves underhanded dealings and obfuscation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An artifice or trick in war for deceiving the enemy; hence, in general, artifice; deceptive device; secret plot; evil machination.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An artifice in war; a plan or scheme for deceiving an enemy.
  • n. Any artifice; a trick by which some advantage is intended to be obtained.
  • n. Synonyms and
  • n. Artifice, Manæuver. Trick, etc. See artifice.
  • n. Deception, plot, trap, device, snare, dodge, contrivance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade
  • n. a maneuver in a game or conversation

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French stratageme, from Old Italian stratagemma, from Latin stratēgēma, from Greek, from stratēgein, to be a general, from stratēgos, general : stratos, army; + agein, to lead.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French stratageme, from Latin strategema, from Ancient Greek στρατήγεμα (stratēgema, "the act of a general, a piece of generalship"), from strategein ("to be a general, command an army"), from στρατηγός (stratēgos, "a general, the leader or commander of an army"); see strategy. (Wiktionary)

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