early 15c., "the dodging movements of a hunted animal" (a sense now obsolete); 1620s as "a trick, a stratagem, an artifice," from Old French ruse, reuse "diversion, switch in flight; trick, jest" (14c.), a noun from reuser "to dodge, repel, retreat; deceive, cheat," which is from Latin recusare "make an objection against; decline, refuse, reject; be reluctant to" (see recuse; also compare rush (v.)).
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 in Middle English (rusen), mid-14c. as "drive (someone) back in battle," also "retreat, give ground, withdraw;" late 14c., of game animals "travel so as to elude pursuit." The noun also was used in Middle English in the sense of "roundabout course taken by a hunter in pursuit of prey."
mid-14c. (implied in rushing), "to drive back or down," from Anglo-French russher, from Old French ruser "to dodge, repel," which is from Latin recusare"make an objection against; decline, refuse, reject; be reluctant to" (see recuse; also compare ruse).
The meaning "do something quickly" is from 1650s, hence "to move or act with undue eagerness or without deliberation or preparation;" the transitive sense of "to hurry up (someone or something), cause to go swiftly" is from 1850. The sporting sense in U.S. football originally was in rugby (1857).
The fraternity/sorority sense is by 1896 (originally it was what the fraternity did to the student); from 1899 as a noun in this sense, "entertainment for prospective pledges." Earlier it was a name on U.S. campuses for tests of strength or athletic skill between freshmen and sophomores as classes (1860).
1963, noun ("trick, ruse, swindle, cheat") and verb ("to trick or swindle, perpetrate a fraud"), U.S. slang, a carnival term, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to 19c. British slang scamp "cheater, swindler" (see scamp (n.)).
"ruse, deception," 1937, from earlier adjectival meaning "assumed, feigned" (1620s), a figurative extension of the verbal phrase on the notion of putting on costumes or disguises. To put on (v.), of clothes, garments, etc., is by early 15c.; see from put (v.) + on (adv.). Hence "clothe, cover, assume as covering" (mid-15c.) and "assume the garb or appearance of" (real or feigned), 1520s. The expression put (someone) on "play a trick on, deceive" (by 1958) seems to be a back-formation from the noun.
early 15c., "a cheat, a mean ruse," from Old North French trique "trick, deceit, treachery, cheating," from trikier "to deceive, to cheat," variant of Old French trichier "to cheat, trick, deceive," of uncertain origin, probably from Vulgar Latin *triccare, from Latin tricari "be evasive, shuffle," from tricæ "trifles, nonsense, a tangle of difficulties," of unknown origin.
Meaning "a roguish prank" is recorded from 1580s; sense of "the art of doing something" is first attested 1610s. Meaning "prostitute's client" is first attested 1915; earlier it was U.S. slang for "a robbery" (1865).
To do the trick "accomplish one's purpose" is from 1812; to miss a trick "fail to take advantage of opportunity" is from 1889; from 1872 in reference to playing the card-game of whist, which might be the original literal sense. Trick-or-treat as a children's Halloween pastime is recorded from 1927 in Canada. Trick question is from 1907.
Meaning "prose works (not dramatic) of the imagination" is from 1590s, at first often including plays and poems. Narrower sense of "the part of literature comprising novels and short stories based on imagined scenes or characters" is by early 19c. The legal sense (fiction of law) is from 1580s. A writer of fiction could be a fictionist (1827). The related Latin words included the literal notion "worked by hand," as well as the figurative senses of "invented in the mind; artificial, not natural": Latin fictilis "made of clay, earthen;" fictor "molder, sculptor" (also borrowed 17c. in English), but also of Ulysses as "master of deceit;" fictum "a deception, falsehood; fiction."