\ 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

: to deceive by cunning or artifice : cheat — see also trick out



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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cincinnati capitalized by going 75 yards in 12 plays, scoring on a 6-yard trick-play touchdown pass from running back Joe Mixon to Tee Higgins to cut the score to 13-10 at the half. NBC News, 14 Feb. 2022 The Bengals only first half touchdown came on a pass by running back Joe Mixon to Higgins on a trick play, the Rams led 13-10 at halftime. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 14 Feb. 2022 The Bengals answered back late in the second quarter with a trick play that led to a touchdown and an interception by safety Jessie Bates III. Amir Vera, CNN, 13 Feb. 2022 Their attempts to ignite some sort of attack included a third-quarter trick play that ended with Kupp throwing too high for quarterback Matthew Stafford, who had leaked out of the backfield on a pass pattern. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2022 As Burrow stayed patient, guiding the Bengals on a seven-minute drive in the second quarter that was capped by an exquisite trick play — running back Joe Mixon’s toss to Tee Higgins — Stafford started firing his passes high, wide or just off. New York Times, 13 Feb. 2022 The Bengals answered late in the second quarter with a trick play where running back Joe Mixon threw a touchdown pass to Tee Higgins and an interception from safety Jessie Bates III. oregonlive, 13 Feb. 2022 The American offense will start its first possession at its 14-yard line after a trick play on the kickoff, with Memphis’ Calvin Austin III flipping the football to Tennessee’s Velus Jones Jr. on the return. Mark Inabinett |, al, 5 Feb. 2022 The Cardinals even tried to get creative with a trick play at 2:39 left in the first quarter on third down from their own 16. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 17 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Researchers hope to trick the immune system instead. New York Times, 5 May 2022 Because that was the only way to bypass and trick the system. Kenneth J. Williams Jr., Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 The captioning and image classification algorithms that underpin DALL-E 2 are, according to tests OpenAI performed, less susceptible to attempts to trick it in which an object is labelled with text that is different from what the object actually is. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2022 In one experiment, researchers managed to trick an A.I. system into thinking that a turtle was actually a rifle by subtly altering the pattern of pixels in the image. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2022 The hackers used emails as well as fake and compromised websites to trick targets into triggering the exploit. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 28 Mar. 2022 Young adolescents aged 11 to 14 have been shown to be incredibly sensitive to even low levels of evening light, making their circadian rhythms particularly easy to trick with bright electronic screens. Julie Wright, WSJ, 26 Mar. 2022 Braun steered the business toward selling truck accessories — bed liners, running boards and other products used to trick out trucks. Lincoln Wright, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Mar. 2022 Attackers can also disguise inputs to trick a machine learning model into evading accurate classification. Naveen Joshi, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective If the high cost of it all is more trick than treat for you, here are several ways to turn your already smart home into a spook-tacularly genius haunted house. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2021 And arguably, given the variety of cask types used by the distillery, Angel’s Envy is actually a multi-trick pony. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 11 June 2021 The ‘00s are cool again, right? (Trick question: They, like Britney, have always been cool.) Kara Nesvig, Allure, 23 June 2017 See More

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.

First Known Use of trick


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


1631, in the meaning defined above


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

Learn More About trick

Time Traveler for trick

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near trick



tricked out

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for trick

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for trick


\ 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, Otherwise Known as 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on trick

Nglish: Translation of trick for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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