trick

1 of 3

noun

1
a
: 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
2
a(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
3
a
: 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
5
a
: 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

trick

2 of 3

verb

tricked; tricking; tricks

transitive verb

: to deceive by cunning or artifice : cheat see also trick out

trick

3 of 3

adjective

1
a
: of or relating to or involving tricks or trickery
trick photography
trick dice
b
: skilled in or used for tricks
a trick horse
2
a
: somewhat defective and unreliable
a trick lock
b
: inclined to give way unexpectedly
a trick knee
3
: trig
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Chocolate Some people swear by using dark chocolate while others think simply adding in some cocoa powder does the trick. The Courier-Journal, 23 Feb. 2024 Anxiously awaiting kickoff for Super Bowl LVIII, but need something to fill the void? Adorable, adoptable puppies should do the trick when Puppy Bowl XX takes the field Sunday. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 One of the best ways for a new director to learn the tricks of board service is to spend time with peers. Melanie Hughes, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 The trick relies on microsaccadic eye movements–involuntary, quick jerks in focus… in humans. Popular Science, 21 Feb. 2024 Playing at spades, West could have won 12 tricks by picking off South’s king of clubs. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 20 Feb. 2024 In the end, what McLoughlin described as pre-trial legal tricks — including the city hiring a high-powered outside legal firm that uncovered new event data recorder, or black-box, evidence — led him to take just a $49,500 settlement. USA TODAY, 18 Feb. 2024 But perhaps the most effective trick was not asking for anything too soon. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 Related Articles Kurtenbach: The Super Bowl is the perfect venue for a trick play. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024
Verb
Sometimes, Lopez can trick you into believing that life should be a parka hood with a mile of fur trim or a giant house with your nickname tiled all over in knockoff glamour. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Inside, removable curtains are used to periodically block sunlight and trick the plants into flowering sooner than normal. Brad Branan, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 At the same time, democracy advocates and AI researchers have warned that the tools are already being used to trick and lie to voters. Will Oremus, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Phishing emails, often posing as if they are sent from someone at a financial institution, trick a person into providing their credentials. Christophe Van De Weyer, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Snuffing Kansas City’s first drive of the second half, the 6-foot-3 linebacker picked off a seam pass by retreating far and not allowing Mahomes to trick him into voiding his spot. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2024 These chemicals bind to the surface of a disease-causing agent in a way that activates those protein degraders, tricking the body into thinking the agent is another bit of trash to be eliminated. Alex Knapp, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Increasingly, scammers are using high-tech tools like bots and artificial intelligence to trick victims into sending them money. Ash-Har Quraishi, CBS News, 13 Feb. 2024 The Beach Boys’ ability to disguise sad topics with joyous production almost tricks the listener into accidentally feeling something. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 9 Feb. 2024
Adjective
My idea was not to get too trick-sy with it, to keep it at a fairly simple visual level. Corey S Powell, Discover Magazine, 5 Nov. 2014 As Halloween approaches, investors seem fearful that good credit performance may be more trick than treat. Telis Demos, WSJ, 21 Oct. 2022 If the high cost of it all is more trick than treat for you, here are several ways to turn your already smart home into a spook-tacularly genius haunted house. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2021 And arguably, given the variety of cask types used by the distillery, Angel’s Envy is actually a multi-trick pony. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 11 June 2021 The ‘00s are cool again, right? (Trick question: They, like Britney, have always been cool.) Kara Nesvig, Allure, 23 June 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1631, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of trick was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near trick

Cite this Entry

“Trick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trick. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

trick

1 of 3 noun
1
a
: an action meant to deceive or cheat
b
: a mischievous act : prank
c
: an unwise or childish action
d
: a skillful or clever feat designed to puzzle or amuse
a juggler's tricks
2
: a habitual peculiarity of behavior or manner
a trick of speech
3
a
: a quick or artful way of getting a result : knack
the trick is to do it quickly
b
: an instance of getting a desired result
one small adjustment will do the trick
4
: a technical device (as of an art or craft)
tricks of the trade
5
: the cards played in one round of a card game

trick

2 of 3 verb
1
: to deceive with tricks : cheat
2
: to dress or decorate especially oddly or ornately
tricked out in a gaudy uniform

trick

3 of 3 adjective
1
a
: of or relating to or involving tricks or trickery
trick photography
b
: skilled in or used for tricks
a trick horse
2
a
: somewhat defective and unreliable
a trick lock
b
: inclined to give way unexpectedly
a trick knee

More from Merriam-Webster on trick

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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