trickster (plural tricksters)

  1. (mythology, literature) Any of numerous figures featuring in various mythologies and folk traditions, who use guile and secret knowledge to challenge authority and play tricks and pranks on others; any similar figure in literature.
    • 1991, Alan R. Velie (compiler and editor), American Indian Literature: An Anthology, Revised edition, page 44 ↗,
      The trickster is one of the oldest and most widespread of mythological and literary figures. […] As the name implies, the trickster is, on one level—probably the most important—an amoral practical joker who wanders about playing pranks on unsuspecting victims […] With all the fluctuations, certain things about the trickster are predictable: he is always a wanderer, always hungry, and usually oversexed.
      Tricksters abound in folktales […] .
  2. One who plays tricks or pranks on others.
  3. One who performs tricks (parts of a magician' act or entertaining difficult physical actions).
  4. An impish or playful person.
  5. A fraud person who performs a trick for the purpose of unlawful gain.
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