tricky

adjective
\ ˈtri-kē How to pronounce tricky (audio) \
trickier; trickiest

Definition of tricky

1 : inclined to or marked by trickery
2a : giving a deceptive impression of easiness, simplicity, or order : ticklish a tricky path through the swamp
3 : requiring skill, knack, or caution (as in doing or handling) : difficult a tricky problem also : ingenious a tricky rhythm

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Other Words from tricky

trickily \ ˈtri-​kə-​lē How to pronounce trickily (audio) \ adverb
trickiness \ ˈtri-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce trickiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for tricky

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods. a sly corporate raider cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing. the cunning fox avoided the trap crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method. a crafty lefthander wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering. the wily fugitive escaped the posse tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering. a tricky political operative foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing. a foxy publicity man planting stories artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness. elicited the information by artful questioning slick emphasizes smoothness and guile. slick operators selling time-sharing

Examples of tricky in a Sentence

The lock is tricky to open. a tricky musical passage for the woodwind section

Recent Examples on the Web

Navigating the various areas, each one more scenic than the last, can be tricky. Amy Tara Koch, Vogue, "The Slopes Less Taken: Going on a Ski Safari in the Dolomites," 7 Mar. 2019 All of these can independently influence mental health, so isolating the potential effects of just digital exposure time is tricky. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 But guessing what a car will be worth in three or four years can be tricky. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Car Decisions: Should You Buy or Lease ... or Subscribe?," 30 Jan. 2019 Assigning blame is tricky, but lawyers being lawyers will always look to those with the ability to pay such as corporations. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "How to Keep the Lights on in California," 9 Jan. 2019 But picking the right hyaluronic acid product is tricky. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid," 14 Dec. 2018 Film criticism on YouTube is tricky because studios like Paramount and Universal have a history of issuing copyright infringement notices when any of their footage is used — even if it can be classified as Fair Use. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube creators blindsided by major network’s collapse," 5 Dec. 2018 But doing this in a truly apples-to-apples way is tricky. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Wind power makes the ground warmer even as it cools the planet," 7 Oct. 2018 The source of Ebola viruses has been tricky for scientists to pin down, even after four decades of research. Kimberly Hickok, Fox News, "Scientists discover a sixth species of Ebola virus — in bats," 27 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tricky.' 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 tricky

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tricky

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tricky

The first known use of tricky was in 1786

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More Definitions for tricky

tricky

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tricky

: using or likely to use dishonest tricks
: requiring skill or caution : difficult to do or deal with

tricky

adjective
\ ˈtri-kē How to pronounce tricky (audio) \
trickier; trickiest

Kids Definition of tricky

1 : requiring special care and skill Opening the lock is tricky.
2 : likely to use tricks

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More from Merriam-Webster on tricky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tricky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tricky

Spanish Central: Translation of tricky

Nglish: Translation of tricky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tricky for Arabic Speakers

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