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

But one of the surest reasons for the film's success is its central gimmick: a modern horror film with next-to-no dialogue. Simon Abrams, The Hollywood Reporter, "Did 'A Quiet Place' Take Enough Risks?," 16 Apr. 2018 But in actuality, the WWE could trot out the Gobbledy Gooker or the Bunny or Kane reprising his Isaac Yankem gimmick as Strowman’s partner. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "WrestleMania 34 Is Going to Be a Goddang Blast," 6 Apr. 2018 This is perhaps why Paige’s interest in Christianity in earlier seasons didn’t feel like a gimmick designed to develop her character. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Farewell to The Americans, TV’s most (accidentally) relevant show," 28 Mar. 2018 After a surprise release following the Super Bowl, The Cloverfield Paradox, the third installment of the Cloverfield franchise, fails to live up to its more inventive marketing gimmick. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2018 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 28 Dec. 2017 The play’s large ensemble, then, isn’t a gimmick, but rather a necessary device for Butterworth to explore the complexity of everyday, familiar (and familial) extremism working on a community. Aja Romano, Vox, "The Olivier-winning play from Jez Butterworth juggles 21 actors, a baby, and a goose — with a dark strain of Irish nationalism.," 3 Nov. 2018 But if designers are going to resort to runway gimmicks to get our attention, please let more of them spark as much joy as a surprise Barry Manilow performance. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Here Is Barry Manilow Singing “Copacabana” at New York Fashion Week," 13 Feb. 2019 This is Not a Love Song by Brendan Mathews No gimmicks here, no story cycles, or postmodern experiments in form, Brendan Mathews’s lovely, quietly ambitious debut collection, This is Not A Love Song, is simply a stirring exercise in world building. Vogue, "Need a Read? Here Are 4 New Books We're Loving," 26 Feb. 2019 Here’s JackSucksAtLife blowing $500 on aimless Fiverr gimmicks, which earned him a whopping 289,000 views. Luke.winkie, Vox, "Inside Venezuela’s YouTube prank economy," 12 Dec. 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near gimmick

gimme cap

gimmel

gimmer

gimmick

gimmickery

gimmickry

gimp

Statistics for gimmick

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gimmick

The first known use of gimmick was in 1911

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gimmick

gimmick

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gimmick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

April 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a bird amidst buds
  • Which is a synonym of propitious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!