\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

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 First diagnosed at age six, Veronin developed coping tricks over the ensuing decades, such as double-checking the color of a particular garment with the store clerk before purchasing. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Spanish scientists: EnChroma glasses won’t fix your color blindness," 6 Nov. 2018 The other trick to avoiding the flood waters completely is keeping track of the tides. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Make the Most of Venice When it Floods," 2 Nov. 2018 Marine F-35s are scheduled to accompany Queen Elizabeth on future cruises, so their jets and crews will also eventually learn to master this landing trick. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.K. F-35s Will Use Strange Rolling Carrier Landings," 16 Oct. 2018 And the terrifying trick will only cost you an additional $5, People reported. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Hurts Donut offering ‘scary clown deliveries’ at some Texas locations," 28 Sep. 2018 Amazon is picking up a trick from Toys R Us’ toolbox — a big, fat physical catalog of toys for kids to obsess over. Ben Meyerson, RedEye Chicago, "Jay-Z and Trayvon Martin, Amazon and Toys R Us, and more conversation starters for your weekend," 13 July 2018 But there were many weight-saving tricks applied, such as using advanced high strength steel in more than half of the structure with aluminum for the hood, tailgate, brake calipers and many suspension pieces. Mark Maynard,, "2018 Kia Niro PHEV: The future of plug-and-play," 13 July 2018 Now that there was an open path through the room, the experience played tricks on me. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Subways are already tricked out with visitor welcomes from the expo mascot, and the city plans a two-day school and office shutdown. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "The World’s Biggest Exporter Rebrands Itself as a Big Buyer," 17 Oct. 2018 Each of the inflatable domes is tricked out with a terrace, private bathroom, and a king-sized or double bed facing a wall of windows that looks out onto the red land. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Glamp in a geodesic dome at this Mars-like campground," 3 Oct. 2018 While the design is new, tricking out the tool in a metallic finish is not. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Dyson’s new $500 golden hair dryer, explained," 29 Aug. 2018 In Connemara at the same time people still dressed boys and girls alike in red flannel petticoats until the age of twelve, a disguise used to trick those fairies who liked to steal boys in particular. Longreads, "Fairy Scapegoats: A History of the Persecution of Changeling Children," 9 June 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near trick








Statistics for trick

Last Updated

15 Nov 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

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


noxious or harmful

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