[ strat-uh-juhm ]
/ ˈstræt ə dʒəm /


a plan, scheme, or trick for surprising or deceiving an enemy.
any artifice, ruse, or trick devised or used to attain a goal or to gain an advantage over an adversary or competitor: business stratagems.

Origin of stratagem

1480–90; (< Middle French stratageme) < Italian stratagemma war ruse < Latin stratēgēma < Greek stratḗgēma instance of generalship, derivative of stratēgeîn to be in command, derivative of stratēgós military commander (see strategy)

Related forms

strat·a·gem·i·cal [strat-uh-jem-i-kuhl] /ˌstræt əˈdʒɛm ɪ kəl/, adjectivestrat·a·gem·i·cal·ly, adverb

Can be confused

stratagem strategy

Synonym study

1, 2. See trick. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stratagem

British Dictionary definitions for stratagem


/ (ˈstrætɪdʒəm) /


a plan or trick, esp one to deceive an enemy

Word Origin for stratagem

C15: ultimately from Greek stratēgos a general, from stratos an army + agein to lead
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