\ˈtrik \

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

b : shift sense 4b(1)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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


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.


He tricked her by wearing a disguise. you tricked me into thinking my ex wasn't coming to the party tonight


a trick shot in pool He has a trick knee.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That’s a very tough budget, the combination of spending limits and economic growth will do the trick. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Larry Kudlow Predicts Fed Could Rethink Rate Increases," 7 Dec. 2018 Or if that's not doing the trick, use Resolve Carpet Cleaner Moist Powder. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Unwanted Odors in Your House," 29 Nov. 2018 Anthropologie, for example, has a series of intricate ocean-themed Christmas tree ornaments that will do the trick a little more subtly. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Mermaid Stockings Are The Sparkly New Trend Taking Over Christmas This Year," 13 Nov. 2018 Whether you're inspired by Kylie Jenner's pout or just want to add a little volume to your lips, these DIY hacks will do the trick! Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "How To Make Your Lips Look Bigger — Naturally," 6 Nov. 2018 In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all G-spot trick. Sophie Saint Thomas, Marie Claire, "7 Myths About the G-Spot You Should Stop Believing Right Now," 26 Sep. 2018 There are definite tricks of the trade that will ensure your friends and family feast on claws rather than hot dogs. Todd Masson,, "Hot crabbing action with amazing underwater footage," 5 June 2018 Here are a few tricks to getting the best supplies at the best cost. Markus Haas, San Antonio Express-News, "Homebrewers: How to get the best supply prices and selection," 17 May 2018 Something to be debated on gadget blogs and on Reddit and to end up in the hands of people who value impressing others with party tricks that have nothing to do with their own skills or personality. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Are foldable smartphones the future, whether we like them or not?," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Caffeine can block different adenosine receptors in your body, tricking your system into thinking that it’s not time to go to bed yet. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Mistakes You Make Right Before Bed That Are Ruining Your Sleep," 28 Nov. 2018 Later in the war, many minors in the Philippines were kidnapped, raped or tricked into working in the brothels, some victims said. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Dispute between Seoul, Tokyo over WWII brothels," 21 Nov. 2018 Bird already scans licenses nationwide, but Angelica (the girl who tricked a cop with one ID) found a way around this with a fake ID printed in China, which lists her as a 21-year-old from Arkansas. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Teen "Scooter Outlaws" Are Getting Busted on Shareable Scooters," 24 Sep. 2018 Too often, of course, things can look so great online that consumers are tempted to act first without wondering about the possibility of getting tricked by a spam email, a phony promise and some really bad customer service lines. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Amazon Prime Day: Gift cards, coupons and other scams to watch for," 14 July 2018 Sacha Baron Cohen has a long history of tricking prominent people into doing ridiculous interviews. Bethonie Butler,, "Here’s how Sacha Baron Cohen fools celebrities into embarrassing interviews, starting with ‘Da Ali G Show’," 13 July 2018 Januzaj scored a brilliant winning goal in a match otherwise devoid of quality, tricking his way past Danny Rose before curling in the only goal of the game past Jordan Pickford., "Fans Name Adnan Januzaj as Man of the Moment for Belgium After Stunning Winner Sinks England," 1 July 2018 Anna Delvey, the socialite who allegedly tricked the international party elite out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, will likely go down as one of the great scammers of our generation, or at least this summer. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Anna Delvey Wants You to Send Her Mail at Rikers," 28 June 2018 The brain is full of all sorts of strategies that make sense in normal life but can be easily tricked. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Optical Illusion Will Have Your Brain Rushing To Fill In The Blanks," 11 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trick

Dictionary Entries near trick








Statistics for trick

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trick

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trick



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

: weak and tending to fail suddenly


\ˈtrik \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on trick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on trick

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


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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