gim·​mick | \ ˈgi-mik How to pronounce gimmick (audio) \

Definition of gimmick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a mechanical device for secretly and dishonestly controlling gambling apparatus
b : an ingenious or novel mechanical device : gadget
2a : an important feature that is not immediately apparent : catch … few readers would look for a gimmick in an advertisement featuring airline schedules, but few would fail to look for the fine print in an ad announcing New Low-Price Fares.— Robert L. Heilbroner
b : an ingenious and usually new scheme or angle Even in professional careers, mere competence and craftsmanship is no substitute for a gimmick.— James Poniewozik
c : a trick or device used to attract business or attention a marketing gimmick


gimmicked; gimmicking; gimmicks

Definition of gimmick (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to alter or influence by means of a gimmick
2 : to provide with a gimmick often used with up

Other Words from gimmick


gimmicky \ ˈgi-​mi-​kē How to pronounce gimmick (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gimmick in a Sentence

Noun The proposal to cut taxes was just an election gimmick to win votes. that free magazine subscription they offer is just a sales gimmick to get you to buy their product
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More than just a marketing gimmick, the initiative is part of a $458 million cycling infrastructure plan, of which $64 million will be used in the next 12 months to build new cycle lanes throughout the country. David Nikel, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 Outlandish chargemaster pricing isn’t just an accounting gimmick. Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2021 To Tesla owner Gary Way, the front trunk is kind of a gimmick. Nora Eckert, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Periscope lenses have largely been a marketing gimmick, especially in the early years. Chris Smith, BGR, 14 Apr. 2022 The Bored Ape Yacht Club, in contrast, is a grimmer kind of gimmick, one that parodies nothing. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 8 Feb. 2022 Madcap Moss’ new gimmick is to get fans to give him two thumbs up. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2022 Bruno and Anderson should stay together, drop the gimmick, and see what comes next. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2022 The gimmick here is that Kirby gains the ability to throw hearts at his foes, converting them into companions that can use team-up attacks and interact with his various powers. PCMAG, 25 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pat Brown gimmicked the accounting system to escape raising taxes again before Republican Ronald Reagan ousted him in 1966. Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of gimmick


1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gimmick

Noun and Verb

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for gimmick

Time Traveler

The first known use of gimmick was in 1908

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Statistics for gimmick

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gimmick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for gimmick


gim·​mick | \ ˈgi-mik How to pronounce gimmick (audio) \

Kids Definition of gimmick

: a method or trick used to get people's attention or to sell something

More from Merriam-Webster on gimmick

Nglish: Translation of gimmick for Spanish Speakers


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