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 trickily

Contemporary Examples of trickily

Historical Examples of trickily

  • He felt offended, as if he had been trickily defeated in an argument.


    Ben Hecht

  • Next to this motive principle is his desire to make money dishonestly, trickily, meanly, and shabbily.

    Campfire and Battlefield

    Rossiter Johnson

  • Fought for it fairly when fairness served best, and trickily when trickiness seemed more profitable.

  • The prayer was long, intolerably and trickily eloquent and rhetorical, very self-conscious.

    A Tramp's Notebook

    Morley Roberts

British Dictionary definitions for trickily


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 trickily



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