• enPR: trĭk, IPA: /tɹɪk/, [t̠ʰɹ̠̊ɪk]

trick (plural tricks)

  1. Something designed to fool or swindle.
    It was just a trick to say that the house was underpriced.
  2. A single element of a magician's (or any variety entertainer's) act; a magic trick.
    And for my next trick, I will pull a wombat out of a duffel bag.
  3. An entertaining difficult physical action.
    That's a nice skateboard, but can you do any tricks on it?
    • 1995, All Aboard for Space: Introducing Space to Youngsters (page 158)
      Yo-yo tricks involving sleeping the yo-yo (like "walking the dog" and "rocking the baby") cannot be performed in space.
  4. An effective, clever or quick way of doing something.
    tricks of the trade;  what's the trick of getting this chair to fold up?
  5. Mischievous or annoying behavior; a prank.
    the tricks of boys
  6. (dated) A particular habit or manner; a peculiarity; a trait.
    a trick of drumming with the fingers; a trick of frowning
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, King John Act I, scene I
      He hath a trick of Cœur de Lion's face.
    • 1606, William Shakespeare, King Lear act IV, scene VI:
      The trick of that voice I do well remember.
  7. A knot, braid, or plait of hair.
  8. (card games) A sequence in which each player plays a card and a winning play is determined.
    I was able to take the second trick with the queen of hearts.
  9. (slang) A sex act, chiefly one performed for payment; an act of prostitution.
    • 1988, John H. Lindquist, Misdemeanor Crime: Trivial Criminal Pursuit, page 43:
      Perhaps the most important thing a prostitute learns is how to "manage" the client; how to con him into spending more money than he planned. Learning how to perform tricks takes only a few minutes. Learning how to "hustle" the client takes longer.
    • 2010, Richard Gill, Paloma Azul, page 139:
      "How did you get into all this?" "I started doing tricks when I was young and I don't mean the magic circle. I learned about sex from an early age. There was nothing else to do in Pitsea except heavy petting and getting F grades at school."
    • 2019, Julie S. Draskoczy, Belomor: Criminality and Creativity in Stalin’s Gulag:
      When he later asked her to strip and perform tricks for him, she refused, and he chased her away. She had similar experiences with other men until she eventually fell into prostitution: […]
  10. (slang) A customer to a prostitute.
    As the businessman rounded the corner, she thought, "Here comes another trick."
    • 2011, Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life (page 99)
      Ten minutes after she got down she broke luck. A white trick in a thirty-seven Buick picked her up. I timed her. She had racehorse speed.
  11. A daily period of work, especially in shift-based jobs.
    • 1899, New York (State), Bureau of Statistics, Deptartment of Labor, Annual Report:
      Woodside Junction—On 8 hour basis, first trick $60, second trick $60, third trick $50.
    • 1949, Labor arbitration reports, page 738
      The Union contends that Fifer was entitled to promotion to the position of Group Leader on the third trick in the Core Room Department.
  12. (nautical) A sailor's spell of work at the helm, usually two hours long.
  13. A toy; a trifle; a plaything.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: übler Scherz, übler Streich
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

trick (tricks, present participle tricking; past and past participle tricked)

  1. (transitive) To fool; to cause to believe something untrue; to deceive.
    You tried to trick me when you said that house was underpriced.
  2. (heraldry) To draw (as opposed to blazon - to describe in words).
    • 1600, Hamlet, Act 2, by Shakespeare
      The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms, / Black as his purpose, did the night resemble / When he lay couched in the ominous horse, / Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd / With heraldry more dismal; head to foot / Now is he total gules; horridly trick'd / With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons […]
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: […], London: Printed [by R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] […], published 1602, OCLC 316392309 ↗, Act 1, scene 2:
      They forget that they are in the statutes: […] there they are trick'd, they and their pedigrees.
  3. To dress; to decorate; to adorn fantastically; often followed by up, off, or out.
    • 1735, Alexander Pope, Of the Characters of Women
      Trick her off in air.
    • 1693, John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education
      Tricking up their children in fine clothes.
    • 1825, Thomas Macaulay, An Essay on John Milton
      They are simple, but majestic, records of the feelings of the poet; as little tricked out for the public eye as his diary would have been.
Synonyms Translations Adjective

trick (comparative tricker, superlative trickest)

  1. (slang) Stylish or cool.
    Wow, your new sportscar is so trick.

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