V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. a tricky or deceitful scheme; 2. a maneuver in a game or conversation

Synonyms: tactic, trick, ploy, maneuver, deception, contrivance, ruse


Tips: A stratagem is essentially any kind of move or trick used against an opponent. Think of the related word strategy, which is a plan of action. A stratagem is a tricky plan of action meant to deceive or manipulate. Stratagem is a more sophisticated, rather formal, way of saying "trick" or "ploy." For a memory trick, note how stratagem looks like "strategy" and "gem" combined. Now, suppose you developed a brilliant stratagem (trick, maneuver) to lure a thief into thinking he was stealing a rare gem, when in fact he was only stealing a fake gem, which you called the "strategy gem." Using the "strategy gem" is a great stratagem to trick the thief.

Usage Examples:

The same stratagem he used in his last chess match would not work against his toughest opponent. (maneuver, tactic)

Luckily, my boss saw right through Jamie's stratagem to make me look bad. (ploy, deception)

Your deceitful stratagem won't work on me this time; I can see right through your tricks. (tactic, maneuver, trick)

My stratagem for dealing with my annoying co-worker is to ignore him as much as possible. (trick, tactic)

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