See more synonyms for ruse on

Origin of ruse

1375–1425; late Middle English (noun use of obsolete rusen to detour) < Middle French, derivative of ruser to retreat. See rush1

Synonym study

See trick.


  1. a city in N Bulgaria, on the Danube. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ruse

Contemporary Examples of ruse

Historical Examples of ruse

  • Her ruse of spoliation within the law was evidence of her shrewdness, nothing more.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Mansoor feared that it was a ruse, and that the house was being watched, back and front.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • This ruse of the Indians was discovered on Friday, the 11th.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers

  • Whatever had been done at the lesser gate had been done as a ruse, I did not doubt.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • The ruse succeeded to the extent of compelling the Parisian to retreat.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for ruse


  1. an action intended to mislead, deceive, or trick; stratagem

Word Origin for ruse

C15: from Old French: trick, esp to evade capture, from ruser to retreat, from Latin recūsāre to refuse


  1. a city in NE Bulgaria, on the River Danube: the chief river port and one of the largest industrial centres in Bulgaria. Pop: 172 000 (2005 est)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ruse

early 15c., "dodging movements of a hunted animal;" 1620s, "a trick," from Old French ruse, reuse "diversion, switch in flight; trick, jest" (14c.), back-formed noun from reuser "to dodge, repel, retreat; deceive, cheat," from Latin recusare "deny, reject, oppose," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + causari "plead as a reason, object, allege," from causa "reason, cause" (see cause (n.)). It also has been proposed that the French word may be from Latin rursus "backwards," or a Vulgar Latin form of refusare. Johnson calls it, "A French word neither elegant nor necessary." The verb ruse was used in Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper