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See more synonyms for tricky on Thesaurus.com
adjective, trick·i·er, trick·i·est.
  1. given to or characterized by deceitful tricks; crafty; wily.
  2. skilled in clever tricks or dodges.
  3. deceptive, uncertain, or difficult to deal with or handle.
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Origin of tricky

First recorded in 1780–90; trick + -y1
Related formstrick·i·ly, adverbtrick·i·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for trickiness

Historical Examples

  • We can't prove she showed any trickiness in having you for a cousin.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • He called upon all his shrewdness, all his trickiness of the South.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The keenest Yankee that ever skinned a flint, cannot approach him in trickiness.

  • He abhorred ostentatious display and trickiness in a teacher.

    Heroes of Science

    M. M. Pattison Muir

  • Avoid also any appearance of trickiness or sharp practice, stories of shrewd bargains, etc.

    The Psychology of Salesmanship

    William Walker Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for trickiness


adjective trickier or trickiest
  1. involving snags or difficultiesa tricky job
  2. needing careful and tactful handlinga tricky situation
  3. characterized by tricks; sly; wilya tricky dealer
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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 trickiness



1786, "characterized by tricks," from trick (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "deceptively difficult" is from 1868. Related: Trickily; trickiness. Earlier was tricksy (1590s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper