\ 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

For Cruz partisans, the trick now could be how to project strength without seeming too overconfident. Kevin Diaz And Jeremy Wallace, San Antonio Express-News, "Beto O’Rourke sets new fundraising records," 12 July 2018 Take, for example, the Pirates ending their 8-7 quarterfinal win by executing a phantom pick-off trick play that caught a South Milwaukee runner off second base for the final out of the game. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With grand slams, comebacks and a walk-off trick play, Woodland baseball doesn't disappoint," 5 July 2018 Another trick is to make full moon water, by placing a goblet of water under the light of the full moon on top of a letter of intention. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "How to Harness the Magical Power of Each Moon Phase," 3 July 2018 The trick is remaining a solid defensive team, too. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Breaking down Pacers' decision to open free agency by signing journeyman Doug McDermott," 1 July 2018 The trick is to give voters real targets for their resentment. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Give the Left a Chance," 27 June 2018 The trick of course is that the Republican red represents acreage rather than people. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Republican Court and the Era of Minority Rule," 27 June 2018 The trick is creating a learning curve that allows people to get better at using them. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "In praise of customizing your computer," 20 June 2018 Like classical ballet, the trick is to make completely unnatural movements appear effortless. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader, "The Tempel Lipizzans show off their mastery of equine ballet," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The seven-city 24th Annual Hot Rod Power Tour concludes as thousands of tricked-out, souped-up, and turbo-boosted classic and modified rides parade into zMAX Dragway in Concord for the week-long finale. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | June 15-21," 14 June 2018 And fraudsters attempt to trick targets into making sizable payments, with requests averaging $35,500, Agari found. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Feds Bust Dozens of Email Scammers, but Your Inbox Still Isn’t Safe," 12 June 2018 In some cases, your doctor may give you medication that mimics the effects of calcium in the blood in an attempt to trick the parathyroid into scaling back its hormone production. Korin Miller, SELF, "‘DWTS’ Pro Alan Bersten Reveals He Needed Surgery for Hyperparathyroidism," 24 Apr. 2018 The athletes and some internet trolls are definitely having a busy day, with putting their time and effort showing off some impressive Photoshop skills in attempts to trick...someone. Scooby Axson,, "Here Are the Best April Fools' Jokes That Fooled No One," 1 Apr. 2018 Sheridan is an inescapably dull hero no matter how tricked-out his simulated DeLorean is; a Campbellian journey cannot be accomplished through trivia knowledge alone. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Ready Player One Is a Mile Wide and a Pixel Deep," 29 Mar. 2018 The scams are most often directed at human resources departments in an attempt to trick workers into sending records for large numbers of employees. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "FBI warns taxpayers to beware of new scams to steal W-2 info," 23 Feb. 2018 The citizen committee has urged police administrators to halt any attempts by officers to trick people about their rights. Maxine Bernstein,, "Portland sergeant said it's common for police to mislead public to prevent videotaping," 6 Feb. 2018 Families can choose from 13 styles of suites, such as the popular Wolf Den and Cabin suites, which come with a kids’ area tricked out with bunk beds and Great Wolf character themes. Lori Rackl,, "First look: Great Wolf Lodge Illinois ready to welcome guests, Chance the Rapper," 21 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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Dictionary Entries near trick








Statistics for trick

Last Updated

20 Sep 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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