Definition of stratagem in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstratədʒəm/


1A plan or scheme, especially one used to outwit an opponent or achieve an end: a series of devious stratagems
More example sentences
  • There are conventions and stratagems for achieving the effect, and these are used as necessary.
  • Cunning plans, devious stratagems, state-of-the-art conventional forces, and legal and moral proscriptions, can all be helpful.
  • Fighting experience taught Soviet commanders a lot: they learned how to use stratagems and achieve surprise.
1.1 [mass noun] archaic Skill in devising plans or schemes; cunning.
Example sentences
  • The US is effectively addressing the Islamic terror around he globe, through diplomacy, through stratagem and through the use of force depending on ground situation.
  • Whether his resignation was tendered because of petulance or careful stratagem, he now has a real measure of the Government's dependence on him.
  • This approach emphasizes stratagem and maneuver over firepower and seeks to set the terms of conflict even before the opponent is aware conflict exists.


Late 15th century (originally denoting a military ploy): from French stratagème, via Latin from Greek stratēgēma, from stratēgein 'be a general', from stratēgos, from stratos 'army' + agein 'to lead'.

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