From Middle English rūse (“evasive movements of a pursued animal; circuitous course taken by a hunter to pursue a game animal”), from Old French rëuse, ruse (“evasive movements of a pursued animal; trickery”) (modern French ruse (“trick, ruse; cunning, guile”)), from ruser (“to use cunning, to be crafty, beguile”), possibly from Latin rursus (“backward; on the contrary; again, in return”) or Latin recūsāre, from recūsō (“to decline, refuse; to object to, protest, reject”).
The verb is derived from the noun. Compare Middle French ruser (“to use cunning, to be crafty, beguile”); see further above.
ruse (countable and uncountable, plural ruses)
- (countable, often hunting, archaic, rare) A turning or doubling back, especially of animals to get out of the way of hunting dogs.
- (countable, by extension) An action intended to deceive; a trick.
- (uncountable) Cunning, guile, trickery.
ruse (third-person singular simple present ruses, present participle rusing, simple past and past participle rused)
- (intransitive) To deceive or trick using a ruse.
- (intransitive, hunting, archaic, rare) Of an animal: to turn or double back to elude hunters or their hunting dogs.