Centrifuge vs. subterfuge

A centrifuge is a rotating machine that separates substances of different densities by the use of centrifugal force. The word derives from the adjective centrifugal,which comes from the Latin elements centrum, meaning center, and fugere, meaning to flee. Subterfuge is a stratagem used to evade or conceal something. The word shares centrifuge‘s Latin root fugere—hence the words’ similarity in sound. Subter is Latin for secretly or beneath.


Doctors removed blood from the affected area and spun it in a centrifuge. [Los Angeles Times]

The top-secret document shocked America with its disclosure of presidential lies and official subterfuge. [Scotsman]

The process involves pouring molten metal into a long centrifuge that spins at an accelerated speed, forming steel pipe in the process. [Youngstown Business Journal]

He was smuggled into the country at the age of 12, learned he was illegal at 16, and has gotten by over the years through subterfuge, forgery, etc. [Washington Post]

The Iranians have accused the Israelis and the US of designing and deploying Stuxnet, which set some of their centrifuges spinning out of control. [Telegraph]

If they did, they would start reducing government expenditures now and not increase our debt under the subterfuge of preventing a crisis. [letter to Gloucester County Times]

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