1. A scheme or maneuver designed to achieve an objective, as in surprising an enemy or deceiving someone. See Synonyms at wile.
2. The devising or execution of such schemes or maneuvers: "This devious, insinuating creature, whose every word and movement seemed part of the spinning of some invisible net of stratagem" (Richard Adams).
[Middle English, from Old French stratageme, from Old Italian stratagemma, from Latin stratēgēma, from Greek, from stratēgein, to be a general, from stratēgos, general : stratos, army; see ster-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + agein, to lead; see ag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus