dirty tricks

plural noun

Definition of dirty tricks

: underhanded stratagems for obtaining secret information about or sabotaging an enemy or for discrediting an opponent (as in politics)

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Other Words from dirty tricks

dirty trickster noun

Examples of dirty tricks in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Never mind that the pious hosts were to toast a rough-and-tumble team known for its dirty tricks and abrasive behavior. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, 30 June 2021 But the operation’s use of spycraft to manipulate the politics of several states over years greatly exceeds the tactics of more traditional political dirty tricks operations. New York Times, 25 June 2021 Politics has always involved dirty tricks, but the level of vitriol that has come to characterize this intensely partisan era is not for the faint of heart. Douglas Carr, National Review, 11 May 2021 Spencer doesn’t go in for psychologizing or Faulknerian speechifying, focusing instead on the intricate plot, which turns on hidden love affairs and political dirty tricks. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 28 May 2021 Satya Nadella at Microsoft joined the company when its reputation was rising – a far cry from the years when it was accused of dirty tricks to try and establish a monopoly. Sairah Ashman, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Householder is accused of leading a bribery scheme secretly funded by the utility FirstEnergy to get a $1 billion nuclear bailout bill approved and to conduct a dirty tricks campaign to prevent a referendum on the bill from reaching the ballot. Joe Harrington, The Enquirer, 6 Mar. 2021 There are dirty tricks and savage violence, too: jealous guarding of territory leads some men to plant poison to take out the dogs of their rivals. Kyle Smith, National Review, 5 Mar. 2021 In addition, prosecutors said the nonprofit Generation Now used around $38 million of FirstEnergy cash to pay for a dirty tricks campaign to prevent an anti-bailout group from collecting enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot. Mark Gillispie, Star Tribune, 5 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dirty tricks.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dirty tricks

1963, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for dirty tricks

Time Traveler

The first known use of dirty tricks was in 1963

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Dictionary Entries Near dirty tricks

dirty rice

dirty tricks

dirty word

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Last Updated

5 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dirty tricks.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty%20tricks. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for dirty tricks

dirty tricks


English Language Learners Definition of dirty tricks

: secret and dishonest activities that are done to ruin someone's or something's chance of success

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dirty tricks


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