\ ˈtrik How to pronounce trick (audio) \

Definition of trick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a crafty procedure or practice meant to deceive or defraud
b : a mischievous act : prank
c : a deceptive, dexterous, or ingenious feat especially : one designed to puzzle or amuse a juggler's tricks
d : an indiscreet or childish action
2a(1) : a quick or artful way of getting a result : knack the trick is to make it look natural
(2) : an instance of getting a desired result one small adjustment will do the trick
b : a technical device (as of an art or craft) the tricks of stage technique
3a : a delusive appearance especially when caused by art or legerdemain : an optical illusion a mere trick of the light
b : a habitual peculiarity of behavior or manner a horse with the trick of shying
c : a characteristic and identifying feature a trick of speech
4 : the cards played in one round of a card game often used as a scoring unit
5a : a sexual act performed by a prostitute turning tricks also : john sense 2
c : a trip taken as part of one's employment
d : a turn of duty at the helm usually lasting for two hours
6 : an attractive child or woman a cute little trick


tricked; tricking; tricks

Definition of trick (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to deceive by cunning or artifice : cheat
2 : to dress or adorn fancifully or ornately : ornament tricked out in a gaudy uniform



Definition of trick (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : of or relating to or involving tricks or trickery trick photography trick dice
b : skilled in or used for tricks a trick horse
2a : somewhat defective and unreliable a trick lock
b : inclined to give way unexpectedly a trick knee
3 : trig

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Choose the Right Synonym for trick


trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end. the tricks of the trade ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression. the ruses of smugglers stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy. the stratagem-filled game maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty. last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention. the clever artifices of the stage wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements. used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent. a feint toward the enemy's left flank

Examples of trick in a Sentence

Noun It was a trick to persuade her to give him money. She enjoys playing tricks on her friends. For his last trick, the magician made a rabbit disappear. Verb He tricked her by wearing a disguise. you tricked me into thinking my ex wasn't coming to the party tonight Adjective a trick shot in pool He has a trick knee.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Andy Forssell, general manager of the direct-to-consumer business at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, said HBO Max will try various tricks to prevent subscribers from bailing. Gerry Smith,, "HBO Max Trades R-Rated Image for Elmo and Crafts to Broaden Appeal," 26 May 2020 In the lot there were animals, magicians and trick performers. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Islamic Society of Milwaukee exchanges honks instead of hugs to celebrate Eid al-Fitr," 24 May 2020 The bottom end of the engine benefits from a balanced eight-counterweight crank with trick metallurgy to increase the bend-fatigue limit by 25 percent. Barry Winfield, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1997 Acura Integra Type R Rewards VTEC Enthusiasts in a Major Way," 21 May 2020 As Jess Boddy explained on a previous episode of Weirdest Thing, this sport just seems particularly prone to superstitious tricks and bizarre myths. Popular Science, "Why baseball players ‘bone’ their bats," 20 May 2020 By now, many of us have found little tricks for coping with life in quarantine, savoring a dash of humor or a virtual journey to a far-flung world. The New Yorker, "A New Way to Listen to The New Yorker," 20 May 2020 Seriously: Silicon Valley's main trick is just shoving things into a database and pulling them out again. Clive Thompson, Wired, "The New Startup: No Code, No Problem," 19 May 2020 The trick works in all recipes, from the most complicated to the most straightforward. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "This Easy Trick Will Give You Heavenly, Fluffy Pancakes in Minutes," 19 May 2020 So while this trick might make your berry a little brighter, there's not much difference in the texture after sitting in water. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Does the Strawberry Ice Water Hack Actually Work?," 18 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But grandma didn't agree with her daughter's life and took the baby, allegedly tricking McCorvey into signing adoption papers to give up her parental rights, according to the book. Petula Dvorak, Anchorage Daily News, "The woman behind Roe v. Wade said she was paid to embrace antiabortion movement, new documentary reveals," 20 May 2020 This Fly Crate model is a typical Sneaky Pete design and should trick even the wariest of smallies on the hottest, clearest summer days. Outdoor Life, "Explosive topwater fly patterns for some blockbuster thrills," 1 May 2020 Vaccines use a live, weakened virus, a dead one, or pieces of the pathogen to trick the body into building defenses without having to get sick. Jennifer Jacobs, Fortune, "The U.S. has a new plan to fast-track a COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Operation Warp Speed’," 30 Apr. 2020 Love jihad is the idea that Muslim men are tricking Hindu women into romantic relationships in order to convert them to Islam. Billy Perrigo, Time, "It Was Already Dangerous to Be Muslim in India. Then Came the Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 The victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, was heading home with a male friend from a movie theater when six men tricked into getting on a private bus. NBC News, "India hangs 4 men convicted for fatal New Delhi gang rape," 20 Mar. 2020 What better way to trick your kids into helping out with the lawn work than with a wheelbarrow that looks suspiciously like a Radio Flyer? Popular Science, "Sturdy wheelbarrows for all your hauling needs," 20 Mar. 2020 An eye-tricking 360-degree point-of-view shot, which switches from Zhou to an unlucky couple passing by (with the man hit by a bullet aimed at Zhou), intensifies the mêlée that suddenly erupts. Jiwei Xiao, The New York Review of Books, "Into the Uncharted Zone: Diao Yinan’s ‘The Wild Goose Lake’," 14 Mar. 2020 This time, the craze in question involves two people tricking one of their friends into standing side-by-side with them and jumping. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Two 7th graders arrested after viral "skull breaker challenge" video sends classmate to the hospital," 4 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The ‘00s are cool again, right? (Trick question: They, like Britney, have always been cool.) Kara Nesvig, Allure, "The Top 10 Britney Spears Perfumes in Order of Greatness," 23 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trick.' 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 trick


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for trick


Middle English trikke, from Anglo-French *trik, from trikier to deceive, cheat, from Vulgar Latin *triccare, alteration of Latin tricari to behave evasively, shuffle, from tricae complications, trifles

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Time Traveler for trick

Time Traveler

The first known use of trick was in the 15th century

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Statistics for trick

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for trick


How to pronounce trick (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: an action that is meant to deceive someone
: something done to surprise or confuse someone and to make other people laugh
: a clever and skillful action that someone performs to entertain or amuse people



English Language Learners Definition of trick (Entry 2 of 3)

: to deceive (someone)



English Language Learners Definition of trick (Entry 3 of 3)

: using methods that are meant to deceive someone
: done in a clever or entertaining way
US : weak and tending to fail suddenly


\ ˈtrik How to pronounce trick (audio) \

Kids Definition of trick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an action intended to deceive or cheat
2 : a mischievous act : prank
3 : an action designed to puzzle or amuse a card trick Mouse was trying to teach me a new yo-yo trick— Judy Blume, Sheila the Great
4 : a quick or clever way of doing something I know a trick for remembering names.
5 : the cards played in one round of a game


tricked; tricking

Kids Definition of trick (Entry 2 of 3)

: to deceive with tricks



Kids Definition of trick (Entry 3 of 3)

: relating to or involving actions intended to deceive or puzzle We scored a touchdown on a trick play.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trick

Spanish Central: Translation of trick

Nglish: Translation of trick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trick for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trick

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