Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 15, 2020 is:
subterfuge SUB-ter-fyooj noun
1 : deception by artifice or stratagem in order to conceal, escape, or evade
2 : a deceptive device or stratagem
“First, an antivirus product may upload the complete text of files flagged to the cloud, where it can be analyzed by separate tools…. Some malware can detect when a running process may examine it, and will then engage in subterfuge.” — Macworld, 4 May 2020
“Shortly after sunset on Wednesday, President Donald Trump secretly boarded an undisclosed aircraft at an undisclosed airport in Florida and flew to Joint Base Andrews…. Air Force One, the plane Trump took from Washington, D.C., to Florida Tuesday evening, remained parked on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport as part of the subterfuge.” — Christine Stapleton, The Palm Beach Post, 28 Nov. 2019
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.