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subterfuge Line breaks: sub¦ter|fuge
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌbtəfjuːdʒ/

Definition of subterfuge in English:


[mass noun]
Deceit used in order to achieve one’s goal: he had to use subterfuge and bluff on many occasions [count noun]: I hated all the subterfuges, I hated lying to you
More example sentences
  • Jonson's plays challenged the audience to examine the impact of a society governed by deceit and subterfuge.
  • This is unskillful because it requires subterfuge and deceit, it means that solemn promises made at the time of marriage are broken, and it amounts to a betrayal of trust.
  • Using guerrilla tactics and subterfuge, Alfred beat the Vikings at their own game.


Late 16th century: from French, or from late Latin subterfugium, from Latin subterfugere 'escape secretly', from subter- 'beneath' + fugere 'flee'.

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