\ 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 Is that a neuroscientist's Jedi mind trick to get the title to stick in our heads? Ryan Prior, CNN, "How to harness brain science for a better life, explained by a neuroscientist," 30 Dec. 2020 There’s a trick at the core of Promising Young Woman, a ravishing, lethal revenge thriller starring Carey Mulligan that marks the directorial debut of the writer and actor Emerald Fennell. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Promising Young Woman," 28 Dec. 2020 Kudos to Middleburg Heights Kiwanis members, who prepared 600 goodie bags of trick-or-treat candy, which were split evenly between the Middleburg Heights Food Pantry and Audrey’s Outreach in Brook Park. Rich Heileman, cleveland, "Berea Library’s puzzle challenge: Around The Town," 6 Nov. 2020 Families can go to drive-through trick-or-treat events or car parades, hold online parties or just put on their costumes to walk around for a bit. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "Halloween a do-or-die moment in California fight against fall COVID-19 wave," 31 Oct. 2020 Some cities may designate trick-or-treat hours, so check ahead. Leada Gore |, al, "Halloween 2020: When is trick or treating where I live? What time?," 31 Oct. 2020 The same can be said for trick-or-treat weather and the like. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Cool but sunny today, with another strong cold front arriving Sunday," 31 Oct. 2020 There’s trick-or-treating in the corn maze at Lyman Orchards, 32 Reeds Gap Road in Middlefield. Christopher Arnott,, "Candy vs. COVID: Safer trick-or-treat options for a Phase 2 Halloween Night," 30 Oct. 2020 Holcomb said there will be no trick-or-treating for Halloween at the governor's residence this year, as has been a long-running tradition. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, "What we learned at the governor's weekly coronavirus news conference Wednesday," 21 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So in an effort to trick time, some seedlings at the nurseries are grafted with a small cone-bearing branch from the top of a mother tree. Jim Morrison, Wired, "A Bold Plan to Save the Last Whitebark Pines," 24 Dec. 2020 Rhea swaddles a stone to trick the infanticidal Kronos into swallowing it rather than their child Zeus. Alexandra Mullen, WSJ, "‘The Oxford Handbook of Christmas’ Review: The Making of a Holiday," 23 Dec. 2020 And the Dolphins had another special teams trick play called back because the player who caught Matt Haack’s beautiful pass didn’t declare himself as an eligible receiver. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins grades and stock up, stock down from win over Patriots," 21 Dec. 2020 Roper wrote that the Air Force wasn't yet ready to create fully autonomous aircraft because today's A.I. systems are too easy for an adversary to trick into making an inaccurate decision. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Air Force A.I. test raises concerns over killer robots," 21 Dec. 2020 Facing fourth-and-5 from the Browns 8-yard line on the opening drive of the game, the Giants tried to trick the Browns by faking a field goal attempt. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Browns Winners and Losers of Week 15: Baker Mayfield, playoff chances and OMAHA!," 21 Dec. 2020 Relentlessly and without trepidation, Wager emptied his sleeves and pulled out every special-teams trick imaginable. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Fueled by early onslaught of special teams magic, Arlington Martin cruises to 68-0 victory over Lewisville," 17 Dec. 2020 Samson notes that acidity and salinity can sort of trick the palate. Washington Post, "You can save almost any overseasoned or oversalted soup, stew or sauce with these tips," 16 Dec. 2020 For example, the Internal Revenue Service this month has been warning of a new texting scam tied to stimulus payments designed to trick people into disclosing their bank account information. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "'Tis the season to follow these wise shopping tips, anti-fraud precautions," 30 Nov. 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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on trick

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