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

The trend has been constant from the beginning to the present: a protracted failure of the Democrats to stop the Trump phenomenon despite the employment of extraordinary dirty tricks to do it. Conrad Black, National Review, "Trump: A Brief History Thereof," 1 Aug. 2019 Political operatives in both parties have sought ways to derail rival campaigns with dirty tricks. Dallas News, "Mischievous Republicans donate to keep love guru Marianne Williamson alive in Democratic primary," 3 July 2019 The major on-demand players have been equally fractious in their dealings with each other, jousting for workers and customers and employing the occasional dirty trick to find an edge. Johana Bhuiyan, latimes.com, "Treat workers as employees? Uber, Lyft and others are scrambling for a compromise," 23 June 2019 Famously, Netscape and it backers also accused their Goliath rival of dirty tricks. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 Kenneth Whyte brings to life these pioneering days of febrile dramas, dirty tricks, wild stunts and pure genius. Les Hinton, WSJ, "Five Best: Les Hinton on the Giants of the Press," 28 Dec. 2018 For more than a week, Facebook’s critics have wondered if the company will face any consequences for the dirty tricks and deceptions detailed in a Nov. 14 New York Times story. Eric Johnson, Recode, "It’s time for Facebook’s board to step up," 23 Nov. 2018 And when the stakes are higher, companies are more likely to use agencies that resort to dirty tricks — and the public ought to know about those tricks, too. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Facebook’s crisis PR firm triggered a PR crisis," 17 Nov. 2018 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

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

10 Aug 2019

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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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