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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
First recorded in 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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for trickier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Rebs weren't as good as we were, but they were trickier, and they could fight.

    A Question of Courage Jesse Franklin Bone
  • And Trigger was a trickier monkey than most that way, when she felt like it.

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

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Battery patents are trickier than automotive machinery patents.

    With No Strings Attached Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA David Gordon)
  • The comfort (hedone) of the Epicureans is the same practical philosophy the Stoics teach, only trickier, more deceitful.

    The Ego and His Own Max Stirner
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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