trick·​ery ˈtri-k(ə-)rē How to pronounce trickery (audio)
: the practice of crafty underhanded ingenuity to deceive or cheat
Choose the Right Synonym for trickery

deception, fraud, double-dealing, subterfuge, trickery mean the acts or practices of one who deliberately deceives.

deception may or may not imply blameworthiness, since it may suggest cheating or merely tactical resource.

magicians are masters of deception

fraud always implies guilt and often criminality in act or practice.

indicted for fraud

double-dealing suggests treachery or at least action contrary to a professed attitude.

a go-between suspected of double-dealing

subterfuge suggests the adoption of a stratagem or the telling of a lie in order to escape guilt or to gain an end.

obtained the papers by subterfuge

trickery implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat.

resorted to trickery to gain their ends

Examples of trickery in a Sentence

He resorted to trickery to get what he wanted. Delia resorted to trickery—even loading up the fishing equipment—to induce her dog into the car for his vet appointment.
Recent Examples on the Web For one, the protagonists aren't raccoons at all, but rather tanuki, playful creatures known in Japanese folklore for trickery and shapeshifting. Matt Kamen, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 Horror Nights, which is erected in a few weeks each year, marries a bit of old-fashioned theatricality with theme park trickery, such as a heavily detailed Humvee made of foam and then placed on a track, triggered by guests stepping through nearly invisible light banner placed low to the ground. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2023 In his official complaint, Oher claims that through forgery, trickery or sheer incompetence, the Tuohys enabled 20th Century Fox to acquire the exclusive rights to his life story. Jorge L. Contreras, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2023 Tennessee rallied to tie the game in the fifth with Little League trickery. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Panini, in Fanatics’ version of events, is hoping to mitigate its losses through trickery, deceit, and litigation. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 22 Aug. 2023 According to the outlet, the spokesperson said that no such trickery would be tolerated at Hangzhou Zoo as a state-run facility. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 31 July 2023 Industry experts warn that financial markets and voters could become vulnerable to A.I. trickery. Tiffany Hsu, New York Times, 28 June 2023 Sun, a professor of animal behavior, ecology, and evolution at Central Washington University, presents a string of entertaining facts about the many ways plants and animals use trickery to survive. Robin Marantz Henig, The Atlantic, 25 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trickery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trickery was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near trickery

Cite this Entry

“Trickery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


trick·​ery ˈtrik-(ə-)rē How to pronounce trickery (audio)
plural trickeries
: the use of tricks to deceive or cheat

More from Merriam-Webster on trickery

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