Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Word of the Day 12/20/2011

Subterfuge (noun)

1: deception by artifice or stratagem in order to conceal, escape, or evade
2: a deceptive device or stratagem

Examples: They obtained the documents through subterfuge.
"Staring into a series of mirrors, Philip Fletcher's Iago watches as his reflections come to life, in the form of two of Synetic's other first-rank actor-dancers, Alex Mills and Irina Tsikurishvili. Giving Iago an omnipresent shape helps an audience imagine the breathtaking scope of his subterfuge as he creates the circumstances in which a man might be falsely convinced that a loyal wife is straying." -- From a review by Peter Marks in The Washington Post, November 4, 2011

Did You Know?: Though "subterfuge" is a synonym of "deception," "fraud," "double-dealing," and "trickery," there’s nothing tricky about the word’s etymology. We borrowed the word and meaning from Late Latin "subterfugium." That word contains the Latin prefix "subter-," meaning "secretly," which derives from the adverb "subter," meaning "underneath." The "-fuge" portion comes from the Latin verb "fugere," which means "to flee" and which is also the source of words such as "fugitive" and "refuge," among others.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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