- a crafty or underhanded device, maneuver, stratagem, or the like, intended to deceive or cheat; artifice; ruse; wile.
- an optical illusion: It must have been some visual trick caused by the flickering candlelight.
- a roguish or mischievous act; practical joke; prank: She likes to play tricks on her friends.
- a mean, foolish, or childish action.
- a clever or ingenious device or expedient; adroit technique: the tricks of the trade.
- the art or knack of doing something skillfully: You seem to have mastered the trick of making others laugh.
- a clever or dexterous feat intended to entertain, amuse, etc.: He taught his dog some amazing tricks.
- a feat of magic or legerdemain: card tricks.
- a behavioral peculiarity; trait; habit; mannerism.
- a period of duty or turn; stint; tour of duty: I relieved the pilot after he had completed his trick at the wheel.
- the group or set of cards played and won in one round.
- a point or scoring unit.
- a card that is a potential winner.Compare honor trick.
- Informal. a child or young girl: a pretty little trick.
- a prostitute's customer.
- a sexual act between a prostitute and a customer.
- a preliminary sketch of a coat of arms.
- engraver's trick.
- of, pertaining to, characterized by, or involving tricks: trick shooting.
- designed or used for tricks: a trick chair.
- (of a joint) inclined to stiffen or weaken suddenly and unexpectedly: a trick shoulder.
- to practice trickery or deception; cheat.
- to play tricks; trifle (usually followed by with).
- Slang. to engage in sexual acts for hire.
- trick out, Informal. to embellish or adorn with or as if with ornaments or other attention-getting devices.
- do/turn the trick, to achieve the desired effect or result: Another turn of the pliers should do the trick.
- turn a trick, Slang. (of a prostitute) to engage in a sexual act with a customer.
Origin of trick
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tricks
That idea is often invoked in regards to the tricks memory plays, but I wonder how it might come into play in other ways.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination
December 26, 2014
“She showed him all the tricks of the trade,” Richardson said.Revealing The Unseen Picasso
November 3, 2014
How many of these surging thousands are solid, and how many of these assumptions are tricks of the light?Hilary Mantel Visits the Twilight Zone
October 14, 2014
Rick Wilson, a top Florida GOP political consultant, describes Rivera as “a wily character ... [who has] run out of tricks.”Former Congressman May Be Future Convict
August 20, 2014
Every actor knows that there are tricks to landing an Emmy nomination.'SNL' Star Kate McKinnon's Big, 'Awesome,' Emmy-Nominated Year
August 19, 2014
"To the devil with your tricks," said John, opening and shutting his great red hands.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Mike got to cover; his ungoverned tongue was always playing him tricks.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
And there they were at the side of the road, showing their tricks and begging for coins.Buried Cities, Part 2
Now, I should like to see the fairy that could beat him at tricks.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
After all, with a fellow like Lorenzi one must be prepared for any tricks.Casanova's Homecoming
- a deceitful, cunning, or underhand action or plan
- a mischievous, malicious, or humorous action or plan; jokethe boys are up to their tricks again
- (as modifier)a trick spider
- an illusory or magical feat or device
- a simple feat learned by an animal or person
- an adroit or ingenious device; knacka trick of the trade
- a behavioural trait, habit, or mannerism
- a turn or round of duty or work
- a batch of cards containing one from each player, usually played in turn and won by the player or side that plays the card with the highest value
- a card that can potentially win a trick
- can't take a trick Australian slang to be consistently unsuccessful or unlucky
- do the trick informal to produce the right or desired result
- how's tricks? slang how are you?
- turn a trick slang (of a prostitute) to gain a customer
- to defraud, deceive, or cheat (someone), esp by means of a trick
Word Origin and History for tricks
early 15c., "a cheat, a mean ruse," from Old North French trique "trick, deceit, treachery, cheating," from trikier "to deceive, to cheat," variant of Old French trichier, probably from Vulgar Latin *triccare, from Latin tricari "be evasive, shuffle," from tricæ "trifles, nonsense, a tangle of difficulties," of unknown origin.
Meaning "a roguish prank" is recorded from 1580s; sense of "the art of doing something" is first attested 1610s. Meaning "prostitute's client" is first attested 1915; earlier it was U.S. slang for "a robbery" (1865). Trick-or-treat is recorded from 1942.
1590s, from trick (v.). Related: Tricked; tricking. An earlier sense of "to dress, adorn" (c.1500) is perhaps a different word entirely.