Definition of Stratagem

1. Noun. A maneuver in a game or conversation.

Exact synonyms: Gambit, Ploy
Generic synonyms: Maneuver, Manoeuvre, Tactical Maneuver, Tactical Manoeuvre

2. Noun. An elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade. "His testimony was just a contrivance to throw us off the track"
Exact synonyms: Contrivance, Dodge
Generic synonyms: Scheme, Strategy
Specialized synonyms: Plant, Pump-and-dump Scheme, Wangle, Wangling
Derivative terms: Dodgy

Definition of Stratagem

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

Definition of Stratagem

1. Noun. A deceptive tactic designed to gain the upper hand. Typically, involves underhanded dealings and obfuscation. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Stratagem

1. [n -S]

Stratagem Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Stratagem

strappy top
strata title
stratagem (current term)
strategic buyout
strategic intelligence
strategic management
strategic materials
strategic warning

Literary usage of Stratagem

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. On War by Carl von Clausewitz, James John Graham, Frederic Natusch Maude (1908)
"CHAPTER X stratagem stratagem implies a concealed intention, ... The deceiver by stratagem leaves it to the person himself whom he is deceiving to commit ..."

2. The Works of Washington Irving by Washington Irving (1861)
"I know the strength of the enemy, and how to deal with them" In fact, conscious of the smallness of his force, he had resorted to stratagem, ..."

3. History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century by Jean Henri Merle d'Aubigné (1879)
"The English Envoys at Orvieto—Their Oration to the Pope—Clement gains Time—The Envoys and Cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor—stratagem of the Pope—Knight discovers ..."

4. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (1912)
"... the same applies to Nerissa; unless these disguises are complete, the scene loses its power. Neither of them wish the husband to discover the stratagem. ..."

5. Hannibal: A History of the Art of War Among the Carthaginians and Romans by Theodore Ayrault Dodge (1891)
"But he hit on a happy stratagem. Having fruitlessly offered battle to Fabius, ... After this stratagem he made a raid towards Rome, and finally went to ..."

6. An Account of the European Settlements in America: Containing an Accurate by Edmund Burke, William Burke (1808)
"The Spaniards repulsed by a stratagem of ... On land, on water, by open force, by stratagem, by every method, they plied each ..."

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