"artifice, trick," late 15c., from French strattegeme, stratagème "trick, especially to outwit an enemy" (15c.), from Italian stratagemma, from Latin strategema "artifice, stratagem," from Greek strategema "the act of a general; military stratagem," from strategein "to be a general, command," from strategos "general" (see strategy). Related: Stratagematic; stratagemical. The second -a- is a Romanic misspelling (compare Spanish estratagema).
updated on December 07, 2020