dirty tricks

plural noun

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

Examples of dirty tricks in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These politicos-in-training were learning just how miraculous, how malleable and how broken our 21st century system for policy-making is, courtesy of first-hand lessons in civic duty and dirty tricks. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 5 Apr. 2024 Those who doubt that Washington will resort to dirty tricks have short memories and limited imaginations. Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 On today's The Excerpt podcast, Nikki Haley is bracing for home-state dirty tricks in South Carolina. USA TODAY, 26 Jan. 2024 When strapped to powerful social media algorithms, this fake and digitally created content can spread far and fast and target highly specific audiences, potentially taking campaign dirty tricks to a new low. David Klepper and Ali Swenson, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2023 But for all the talk of South Carolina’s penchant for dirty tricks, the state also values the glad hand. Sharon Lafraniere, New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 Stone, known for his embrace of political dirty tricks dating back to Richard Nixon’s reëlection campaign, was ultimately convicted of seven felonies, including obstructing a congressional investigation and making false statements to Congress. David Rohde, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2023 Across the South, voting restrictions, Jim Crow laws and dirty tricks wiped Black people from the polls. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, 2 Aug. 2023 There are also fears the conservative elements in Thai politics would again employ what critics consider to be dirty tricks to keep a hold on power. Grant Peck and Jintamas Saksornchai, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dirty tricks.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dirty tricks was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near dirty tricks

Cite this Entry

“Dirty tricks.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirty%20tricks. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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