\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

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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


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Visit the page and connect with others to learn tricks and tips to up your savings game. Doreen Christensen,, "Freebie Friday: Free Chipotle for Wold Cup fans, $10 Amazon credit at Whole Foods, penny McCafes at McDonald's," 13 July 2018 The trick, of course, is phrasing your command correctly and knowing that browsing and comparison shopping is impossible. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Shopping with Alexa on Amazon Prime day will be hard. These tricks make it easier," 13 July 2018 Thousands of people look to their videos on product essentials and routines to help maintain their curly hair, so their hands-on experience has helped them discover some genius tricks. Devon Abelman, Allure, "11 Curl-Washing Tips From Real Women With Kinky-Curly Hair," 12 July 2018 Germar the Magician Bilingual performance in English and Spanish is full of tricks, music, live animals., "Kids listings," 12 July 2018 But remembering that body positivity is a journey can help, as well as little tricks like this. Sarah Conboy, Teen Vogue, "Kayla Itsines on Compliments and Mental Health," 11 July 2018 The trick works largely because HBO has been incredibly focused. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "AT&T plans to expand HBO, but could destroy it in the process," 11 July 2018 Furthermore, the brief cameo of the Colombia flag at the end of the meme reminds everyone of the dirty tactics the South Americans tried to carry out in the last 16 round, and how England did well do avoid such sleazy tricks. 4., "It's Coming Home: 6 of the Best England World Cup Memes of the Summer So Far," 11 July 2018 Investigators have yet to figure out what caused the driver of the pickup trick, identified as 44-year-old Alvin S. Hubbard, to cross the median into oncoming traffic. CBS News, "New details emerge after N.J. mom survives crash that killed husband, 4 daughters," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The latest example, Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen is tricking politicos into doing interviews, interviews with him, of course, by assuming a new identity. Fox News, "Meadows, Dershowitz react after Lisa Page defies subpoena," 12 July 2018 Pete Marovich/Getty Images Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show, Who Is America?, has already tricked former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Sarah Palin was “duped” by Sacha Baron Cohen for his new series," 11 July 2018 Willpower is like a muscle and must be trained (or tricked). Paul C. Brunson, USA TODAY, "Paul C. Brunson: These 3 books are the best ever written on self-control and willpower," 5 July 2018 In 2008, Five years ago: Colombian military spies tricked leftist rebels into freeing 15 hostages: Ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three US military contractors, and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers., "This day in history," 2 July 2018 The sunshine had tricked us, and a winter storm was in full effect. Holly Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "When the Brooks family ventured to the Brooks Range for a summer adventure, winter reared its head," 1 July 2018 Their baffling geometry can trick the human eye as well as a radar array. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "B-52 Bombers Could Quadruple Their Wing Bomb Loads," 25 June 2018 Three years later, my friend still believes that Harper Lee was tricked, in her dotage, into shredding the image of perhaps the only white Alabamian other than Helen Keller to be admired around the world. Howell Raines, New York Times, "Harper Lee and Her Father, the Real Atticus Finch," 18 June 2018 Florida tricked the Auburn pitcher into allowing Reese’s steal by having Horvath intentionally fall after breaking to second. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Florida baserunner brilliantly distracted pitcher as teammate stole home," 11 June 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.

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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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Statistics for trick

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trick

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

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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.

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Comments on trick

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