Definitions

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

  • n. A deceptive stratagem or device: "the paltry subterfuge of an anonymous signature” ( Robert Smith Surtees).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An indirect or deceptive device or stratagem; a blind. Refers especially to war and politics.
  • n. Deception; misrepresentation of the true nature of an activity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That to which one resorts for escape or concealment; an artifice employed to escape censure or the force of an argument, or to justify opinions or conduct; a shift; an evasion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That to which a person resorts for escape or concealment; a shift; an evasion; artifice employed to escape censure or the force of an argument.
  • n. Synonyms Shift, etc. (see evasion), excuse, trick, quirk, shuffle, pretense, pretext, mask, blind.

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

  • n. something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity

Etymologies

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

French, from Old French suterfuge, from Late Latin subterfugium, from Latin subterfugere, to escape : subter, secretly, beneath; see upo in Indo-European roots + fugere, to flee.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late 16th century. Directly or via French from late Latin subterfugium, from Latin subterfugio ("I flee secretly"), from subter ("under") and fugio ("I flee").

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