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

But without a doubt, Democrats will be up to the same old predictable dirty tricks and tactics. Fox News, "Steve Bannon: 2018 midterm is a referendum on the Trump presidency," 28 July 2018 This time around some supporters again fear that dirty tricks could be employed to keep him from office, even as authorities and outside observers say the possibility is remote. Andrea Rodriguez, chicagotribune.com, "Ahead of Mexico's presidential election, fears and warnings over possible fraud," 29 June 2018 With the struggle heating up, the campaigns have accused each other of dirty tricks and reported shouting and harassment. Sarah Wu, The Seattle Times, "Head-tax fight hits Seattle’s streets as referendum campaign faces deadline," 11 June 2018 Falcon accused the government of dirty tricks, including buying votes of poor voters who have been hurt by widespread food shortages and hyperinflation in what was once Latin America’s wealthiest nation. Washington Post, "International outcry grows over disputed Venezuela vote," 21 May 2018 The ruling party used all manner of dirty tricks to pervert the vote, but still lost. The Economist, "Politics this week," 10 May 2018 The Mail report that the Saints suspect 'dirty tricks' and believe that their plans have been 'sabotaged' following a call made out of the blue to the assistant of their club secretary informing him that the resort had been struck by a 'virus'. SI.com, "Saints Believe They've Been Sabotaged Following Cancellation of Hotel Reservations Due to 'Virus'," 8 May 2018 The file cabinet, in the summer of 1986, yielded its treasure after all: The folder contained notes that appear to reveal the Rajneeshees’ dirty tricks playbook. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Mystery diary of Rajneesh secrets discovered in locked file cabinet from commune," 22 Apr. 2018 An element of what Mr. Oakes offered his clients was dirty tricks. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "Long Before Cambridge Analytica, a Belief in the ‘Power of the Subliminal’," 20 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near dirty tricks

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dirty tricks

dirty word



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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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The first known use of dirty tricks was in 1963

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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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by force of circumstances

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