Due to the formation of the letters “strat,” the words strategy and strategem can be quite confusing for some. Do these words mean the same? Is one a classification of the other?
Let us find out.
First, Webster defines strategy as “the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war” or “a careful plan or method.”
Below are examples where “strategy” is used correctly based on the definitions above:
RTÉ to become digital-first broadcaster as part of five-year strategy
Qatar Airways targets expansion strategy to ‘defeat’ regional blockade
A Winning Strategy For Every Business Owner
On the other hand, stratagem is more of a deceitful strategy. It means “an artifice or trick in war for deceiving and outwitting the enemy” or “a cleverly contrived trick or scheme for gaining an end.” You will notice the negative message in each sentence below:
On Friday, Yellowhammer suggests the “Shelby stratagem” to resolve the GOP’s “mess” over US Senate candidate, Roy Moore.
USAPP American Politics and Society
A Scholar’s Stratagem?
It is theoretically possible, he concedes, that the Trump White House “actually does have a stratagem that calls for Trump to continue making-nice and bonding with Xi…
As a tip, you can try to remember that strategy is a regular technique or tactic but if it becomes longer or has extra letters–stratagem, then it must be “doubtful” or “deceitful.”