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[trik-ee] /ˈtrɪk i/
adjective, trickier, trickiest.
given to or characterized by deceitful tricks; crafty; wily.
skilled in clever tricks or dodges.
deceptive, uncertain, or difficult to deal with or handle.
Origin of tricky
1780-90; trick + -y1
Related forms
trickily, adverb
trickiness, noun
1. artful, sly, shrewd. 2. skillful, adroit. 3. doubtful, unpredictable, unreliable, perilous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for trickier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And Trigger was a trickier monkey than most that way, when she felt like it.

    Legacy James H Schmitz
  • The Rebs weren't as good as we were, but they were trickier, and they could fight.

    A Question of Courage Jesse Franklin Bone
  • Esau could never see that there was any important difference between himself and Jacobexcept that his brother was trickier.

  • There were newer models and trickier weapons, but none which worked so smoothly under the touch of Andy.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • She was fleeter than Gerda, she struck harder than Kay, she was trickier than all of them, the beloved girl.

    Dangerous Ages Rose Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for trickier


adjective trickier, trickiest
involving snags or difficulties: a tricky job
needing careful and tactful handling: a tricky situation
characterized by tricks; sly; wily: a tricky dealer
Derived Forms
trickily, adverb
trickiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trickier



1786, "characterized by tricks," from trick (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "deceptively difficult" is from 1868. Related: Trickily; trickiness. Earlier was tricksy (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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