\ 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 This flavorful balance of lamb and fresh, minty pesto will do the trick. Dallas News, "5 Recipes (with Wine Pairings) to Celebrate Valentine’s Day," 6 Jan. 2020 There are no reclining beds at UTH, but a ready supply of foam wedges would do the trick—better, at least, than shoving a box under a mattress to be unwittingly removed by a nurse or orderly. Oliver Staley, Quartz Africa, "Zambia has 17 million people, a stroke epidemic, and no neurologists," 30 Dec. 2019 When roasting, blasting high heat for a short amount of time usually does the trick—try 500 degrees for 10 minutes to start but don’t stray too far from your oven in the meantime. Lizzie Noonan, Bon Appétit, "How to Make Even the Most Stubborn Winter Vegetables Taste Like Luxury," 16 Dec. 2019 Take a minute or two after each wear to knock the dust off your shoes (for canvas shoes, a gentle brushing or even tapping the pair together does the trick; for leather shoes, a quick wipe will take away the day’s grime). Amy Mitchell, Country Living, "How to Clean White Shoes," 14 Dec. 2019 And after an exhausting evening of trick-or-treating, Nicole offers Charlie more time with Henry, and then chases after him to tie his shoe. Ashley Lee,, "The importance of Adam Driver singing ‘Being Alive’ in ‘Marriage Story’," 7 Dec. 2019 What are families who live in areas with no trick-or-treating or who live in unsafe neighborhoods supposed to do? -- TRICKED, BUT NOT TREATED DEAR TRICKED: Whoever wrote that note must have been the neighborhood witch. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Goldilocks babysitter caught sleeping in parents’ bed, wearing Dad’s clothes," 25 Nov. 2019 What are families who live in areas with no trick-or-treating or who live in unsafe neighborhoods supposed to do? — TRICKED, BUT NOT TREATED DEAR TRICKED: Whoever wrote that note must have been the neighborhood witch. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: Daytime babysitter makes herself too much at home," 25 Nov. 2019 There are shots of daily life, with images of sports, trick-or-treating and friendly conversations, and some tapes that were created specifically for educational purposes. Shady Grove Oliver, Anchorage Daily News, "Old tapes hold a snapshot of region’s history," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Internet jokesters enjoy creating hoaxes to gain attention, and trick people into sharing fake news. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Bill Clark and Lane Kiffin would improve the SEC," 6 Dec. 2019 In the past, attempts to trick people were often clumsy, FBI agents told journalists on Friday. Washington Post, "FBI: Cybercrimes on the rise because of sophisticated scams," 10 Nov. 2019 Phishing, where crooks send emails to trick people into providing passwords or other sensitive information, remains a threat. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "This former Tempe math teacher now leads global fraud prevention for American Express," 24 Oct. 2019 Black Friday 2019: How scammers use gift cards, hot toy deals to trick you The company reaches 5 billion subscribers worldwide, the research team said. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "'Hundreds of millions of people' may have had their text messages exposed online, researchers say," 2 Dec. 2019 Remember, the week before the Maryland game, the Buckeyes beat Michigan State 26-6 and tricked themselves into thinking the defense might be fixed. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s last low point came against Maryland a season ago," 7 Nov. 2019 Again, if Trump had tricked them into going whole-hog behind the Green New Deal, or Medicare for All, all of the presidential candidates, as a condition for staying on AOC’s good side, that might be one thing. Nr Staff, National Review, "The Ungrateful among Us," 19 July 2019 While some robocalls are legally placed by political campaigns, debt collectors, doctor’s offices and more, many are made by scammers, hoping to get your personal information or otherwise trick you into forking over cash. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "This New App Promises to Block Robocalls Forever. But Should We Have to Pay for That?," 27 June 2019 According to the alert, hackers have been scanning devices broadly on the internet and attempting to trick them into giving up login credentials, or trying default passwords, which then allow the hackers to control the devices. Tal Kopan And Jessica Schneider, CNN, "US, UK issue joint warning on Russian hackers," 16 Apr. 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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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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trick.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 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

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 feeling of well-being or elation

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