adjective, trick·i·er, trick·i·est.

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 formstrick·i·ly, adverbtrick·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for tricky Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trickier

Contemporary Examples of trickier

Historical Examples of trickier

  • 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.


    James H Schmitz

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

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for trickier


adjective trickier or trickiest

involving snags or difficultiesa tricky job
needing careful and tactful handlinga tricky situation
characterized by tricks; sly; wilya tricky dealer
Derived Formstrickily, adverbtrickiness, 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

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