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

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Other Words from gimmick


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 And Samsung's One UI tosses gimmicks and bloatware to the side for a nice and clean interface. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The Note 10+ now comes in Aura Red and Aura Pink, plus a 'Star Wars' edition arrives soon," 21 Nov. 2019 The End of the Road World Tour kicked off in Vancouver in January, introducing a new high-tech production to go with old Kiss stage gimmicks and a greatest-hits set list. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Kiss sets closing dates of farewell tour, including one last Detroit visit," 14 Nov. 2019 Hughes is wrong regarding one thing: Hunt’s usage wasn’t reliant on gimmicks or trick plays. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Kareem Hunt made the difference against the Bills; the more the Browns use him, the better -- Film Review," 12 Nov. 2019 The same probably applies for Grant, who has traditionally been pigeonholed as a gimmick player, having a handful of plays specifically designed to get him in space each game. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Dolphins need speedy receivers to step to the forefront | Commentary," 5 Nov. 2019 Google also says that Motion Sense will evolve over time, so fingers crossed (get it?) that this winds up being more than just a mere gimmick. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Google Pixel 4: The 5 things you really need to know," 15 Oct. 2019 The traditional moderator way to ask this question is to try to use some gimmick to force a moment of good TV. David Roberts, Vox, "We might get a climate debate after all. Here are 10 questions to ask candidates.," 3 July 2019 But the big question has now been answered: What BASE Hologram has done to Callas and Orbison is far more than just another clever gimmick with a catchy name. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "Diva Back From the Dead," 14 Nov. 2018 Trying to bring a coastal feel to landlocked Denver has a high probability of ending with a dining room that feels like one big gimmick. Daliah Singer, The Know, "Review: This former food truck serves wild boar Cubans and kangaroo burgers in an old Berkeley auto shop," 13 Nov. 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.

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First Known Use of gimmick


1911, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


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 1911

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Statistics for gimmick

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gimmick.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for gimmick


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


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

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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).


a period of high artistic development

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