[ gim-ik ]
/ ˈgɪm ɪk /
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See synonyms for: gimmick / gimmicky on Thesaurus.com


an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.
a concealed, usually devious aspect or feature of something, as a plan or deal: An offer that good must have a gimmick in it somewhere.
a hidden mechanical device by which a magician works a trick or a gambler controls a game of chance.
Electronics Informal. a capacitor formed by intertwining two insulated wires.

verb (used with object)

to equip or embellish with unnecessary features, especially in order to increase salability, acceptance, etc. (often followed by up): to gimmick up a sports car with chrome and racing stripes.

verb (used without object)

to resort to gimmickry, especially habitually.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of gimmick

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30; origin uncertain
gim·mick·er, noungim·mick·y, adjectiveun·gim·mick·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for gimmick

/ (ˈɡɪmɪk) /


something designed to attract extra attention, interest, or publicity
any clever device, gadget, or stratagem, esp one used to deceive
mainly US a device or trick of legerdemain that enables a magician to deceive the audience
gimmickry, noungimmicky, adjective
C20: originally US slang, of unknown origin
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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