AskDefine | Define subterfuge

Dictionary Definition

subterfuge n : something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity; "he wasn't sick--it was just a subterfuge"; "the holding company was just a blind" [syn: blind]

User Contributed Dictionary



Late 16th century. Directly or via French from late subterfugium , from subterfugere “to flee secretly,” from fugere.



  1. An indirect or deceptive device or stratagem; a blind. Refers especially to war and politics.
    The Japanese's subterfuge in World War II caused the Americans to lose the battle.
  2. Deception; misrepresentation of the true nature of an activity.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

airtight secrecy, alibi, apology, art, artful dodge, artifice, bag of tricks, bamboozlement, befooling, bickering, blind, bluff, bluffing, boggling, bosey, burial, burying, calculated deception, captiousness, catch, caviling, cheat, chicane, chicanery, chouse, circumvention, cloak, close secrecy, closeness, clouding, color, concealedness, concealment, conning, conspiracy, contrivance, coup, cover, cover story, cover-up, covering, covering up, covertness, craft, crypticness, curve, curve-ball, cute trick, darkening, deceit, deceiving, deception, deceptiveness, defrauding, delusion, delusiveness, design, device, dirty deal, dirty trick, discreetness, discretion, dishonesty, dodge, dodging, double-dealing, dupery, enmeshment, ensnarement, entanglement, entrapment, equivocation, evasion, evasiveness, excuse, expedient, facade, fakement, fallaciousness, fallacy, falseness, fast deal, feint, fencing, fetch, ficelle, flimflam, flimflammery, fond illusion, fooling, fraud, front, gambit, game, gimmick, gloss, googly, grift, guise, hairsplitting, hallucination, handle, hedging, hiddenness, hiding, hocus-pocus, hoodwinking, hugger-mugger, hugger-muggery, illusion, interment, intrigue, invisibility, joker, juggle, jugglery, kidding, knavery, lame excuse, little game, locus standi, logic-chopping, maneuver, mask, masking, mirage, move, mystification, nit-picking, obscuration, obscurement, occultation, ostensible motive, outwitting, overreaching, paltering, parrying, pass, pettifoggery, phantasm, plot, ploy, poor excuse, pretense, pretension, pretext, prevarication, protestation, public motive, pussyfooting, put-off, putting away, putting on, quibbling, racket, red herring, refuge, ruse, scheme, screen, screening, scurvy trick, secrecy, secretion, secretiveness, secretness, self-deception, semblance, sham, shift, shifting, show, shuffling, sidestepping, sleight, sleight of hand, sleight-of-hand trick, smoke screen, snow job, song and dance, spoofery, spoofing, stalking-horse, stratagem, strategy, swindling, tactic, tergiversation, the dark, trichoschistism, trick, trickery, trickiness, tricking, uncommunicativeness, varnish, veil, victimization, vision, wile, willful misconception, wily device, wishful thinking
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1