[ trik-ee ]
See synonyms for: trickytrickilytrickiness on

adjective,trick·i·er, trick·i·est.
  1. given to or characterized by deceitful tricks; crafty; wily.

  2. skilled in clever tricks or dodges.

  1. deceptive, uncertain, or difficult to deal with or handle.

Origin of tricky

First recorded in 1780–90; trick + -y1

Other words for tricky

Other words from tricky

  • trick·i·ly, adverb
  • trick·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tricky in a sentence

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

    Dangerous Ages | Rose Macaulay
  • Bright, being the trickier of the two, was made the nigh ox, to be more under control.

    Rolf In The Woods | Ernest Thompson Seton
  • 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
  • Battery patents are trickier than automotive machinery patents.

    With No Strings Attached | Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA David Gordon)
  • There were newer models and trickier weapons, but none which worked so smoothly under the touch of Andy.

    Way of the Lawless | Max Brand

British Dictionary definitions for tricky


/ (ˈtrɪkɪ) /

adjectivetrickier or trickiest
  1. involving snags or difficulties: a tricky job

  2. needing careful and tactful handling: a tricky situation

  1. characterized by tricks; sly; wily: a tricky dealer

Derived forms of tricky

  • 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