\ 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 Sat down, did the song, did the scene, nailed it, and then went trick-or-treating with his family. Dan Snierson,, "This Is Us producer breaks down Randall's cliffhanger, Rebecca's diagnosis," 15 Jan. 2020 Leaves were still on trees and Halloween decorations in yards were buried under snow, forcing some communities to postpone trick-or-treat events until a few days later. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The year in weather: Polar vortices, tornadoes, derechos, a white Halloween and green Christmas," 1 Jan. 2020 In October, a 7-year-old girl dressed as a bumblebee was shot while trick-or-treating with her family on Halloween. Shootings overall, however, are down this year, compared with last year., "NEW YORK — A house party on Chicago’s South Side was meant to remember a man who was fatally shot during a carjacking in April, authorities said. But the memorial itself erupted into violence early Sunday after at least two gunmen opened fire, wounding 13 people, four of them critically.," 23 Dec. 2019 In October, a 7-year-old girl dressed as a bumblebee was shot while trick-or-treating with her family on Halloween. Mihir Zaveri, New York Times, "Chicago House Party Shooting Leaves 13 Wounded, 4 Critically, Police Say," 22 Dec. 2019 The 7-year-old girl, who was wearing a bumblebee costume while trick-or-treating with her father in Chicago, sustained gunshot wounds to her neck and chest. Editors, USA TODAY, "Impeachment inquiry continues, Nationals to visit White House: 5 things you need to know Monday," 4 Nov. 2019 Chicago police have filed attempted murder charges against a 15-year-old boy suspected of shooting two people on Halloween night, including a 7-year-old girl who was out trick-or-treating. CBS News, "Teen charged in Halloween shooting that wounded 7-year-old girl," 2 Nov. 2019 Most areas of Greater Cincinnati got more than an inch of rain during the day, then saw winds that reached nearly 50 mph during trick-or-treat hours. Sarah Brookbank,, "After crazy Halloween, temperatures will stay chilly this weekend," 1 Nov. 2019 The parents of two separate groups of children were trick-or-treating at the address and found the blades along with candy in their children’s bags. Christine Dempsey,, "With razor blades in Waterbury and marijuana candies in Waterford, police investigating dirty tricks hidden in Halloween night treats," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The specifics of the ploys varied, but all fed on the same anxieties, attempting to trick young people into entering their information into a form and sending money directly to scammers. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Watch Out for Coronavirus Phishing Scams," 31 Jan. 2020 Researchers from Georgia Tech and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have used a cheap projector to trick Tesla's Autopilot system. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Turns Out It's Really Easy to Trick Tesla's Autopilot With a Cheap Projector," 31 Jan. 2020 These fears were premised on a belief that women were by nature ingenuous and could be easily tricked into engaging in harmful behaviors. Clement Knox, Time, "When U.S. Laws Punished Men for 'Seduction,' Women Were the Ones Who Got Judged," 4 Feb. 2020 Local legend has it, Mr. Alvey said, that the founders of Kansas City, Kan., wanted to trick New York financiers into loaning money to their town. John Eligon, New York Times, "Kansas City Confusion: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore. Or Are We?," 3 Feb. 2020 The fraudulent calls are designed to trick recipients into paying money to the perpetrators who claim to be calling from a legitimate source, according to the complaint. Katie Surma, azcentral, "Justice Department targets Arizona-based telecom companies over fraudulent robocalls," 1 Feb. 2020 By genetically modifying the bacterium to trick the mite or a virus to destroy some of its own DNA, scientists have improved bee survival in the lab—and killed many of the mites that were parasitizing the insects. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Mite-destroying gut bacterium might help save vulnerable honey bees," 30 Jan. 2020 The latter category involves tricking people into revealing sensitive information, often using bogus emails and fake websites. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "You might not ever notice hackers stealing your retirement savings," 29 Jan. 2020 The person who commits a crime, or the one who tricks another into doing so? Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Five Faces of Murder," 24 Jan. 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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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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