gimmick

noun
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

gimmick

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gimmick

Noun

gimmicky \ ˈgi-​mi-​kē How to pronounce gimmicky (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 Even to those who are open to opening up, Uncurated’s gimmick might sound a little hokey. Washington Post, "A wave of super-earnest card games want you to bare your soul on game night," 9 Jan. 2020 Some dubbed her presence at JNU a marketing gimmick, others condemned her stance outright. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "As India rises in dissent, Bollywood reveals its real heroes: the women," 8 Jan. 2020 If the day comes when computers replace comics, this double act — an inspired gimmick — may be the turning point. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Best Comedy of 2019," 25 Dec. 2019 Best of all, the glass is excellent—making these a true investment rather than a gimmick. The Editors, Field & Stream, "The Best Hunting and Fishing Gear of the Year," 26 Nov. 2019 Signing Marshawn Lynch last Monday was not a publicity gimmick or a morale boost for the Seahawks. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "49ers too legit to quit after nailbiting classic win at Seattle," 29 Dec. 2019 Plus, there’s already countless podcasts where comedians interview other comedians — each with a gimmick. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now," 20 Dec. 2019 Parodying the beloved holiday romance movie wasn't Johnson's only gimmick aimed at drawing attention to Thursday's election. Fox News, "Boris Johnson recreates 'Love Actually' with 'Brexit, actually' parody ad," 11 Dec. 2019 But, when large balances are involved, there’s always a salesperson to entice unsophisticated bureaucrats with the lure of higher yields with a fail-safe gimmick. John Moorlach, Orange County Register, "Lessons from Orange County’s 1994 bankruptcy: John Moorlach," 8 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of gimmick

Noun

1911, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gimmick

Noun and Verb

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gimmick

Time Traveler for gimmick

Time Traveler

The first known use of gimmick was in 1911

See more words from the same year

Statistics for gimmick

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gimmick.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gimmick. Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gimmick

gimmick

noun
How to pronounce gimmick (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gimmick

often disapproving : a method or trick that is used to get people's attention or to sell something

gimmick

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gimmick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gimmick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gimmick

Spanish Central: Translation of gimmick

Nglish: Translation of gimmick for Spanish Speakers

Comments on gimmick

What made you want to look up gimmick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!