trick [trik] SynonymsWord Origin noun

  1. a crafty or underhanded device, maneuver, stratagem, or the like, intended to deceive or cheat; artifice; ruse; wile.
  2. an optical illusion: It must have been some visual trick caused by the flickering candlelight.
  3. a roguish or mischievous act; practical joke; prank: She likes to play tricks on her friends.
  4. a mean, foolish, or childish action.
  5. a clever or ingenious device or expedient; adroit technique: the tricks of the trade.
  6. the art or knack of doing something skillfully: You seem to have mastered the trick of making others laugh.
  7. a clever or dexterous feat intended to entertain, amuse, etc.: He taught his dog some amazing tricks.
  8. a feat of magic or legerdemain: card tricks.
  9. a behavioral peculiarity; trait; habit; mannerism.
  10. a period of duty or turn; stint; tour of duty: I relieved the pilot after he had completed his trick at the wheel.
  11. Cards.
    1. the group or set of cards played and won in one round.
    2. a point or scoring unit.
    3. a card that is a potential winner.Compare honor trick.
  12. Informal. a child or young girl: a pretty little trick.
  13. Slang.
    1. a prostitute’s customer.
    2. a sexual act between a prostitute and a customer.
  14. Heraldry.
    1. a preliminary sketch of a coat of arms.
    2. engraver’s trick.


  1. of, pertaining to, characterized by, or involving tricks: trick shooting.
  2. designed or used for tricks: a trick chair.
  3. (of a joint) inclined to stiffen or weaken suddenly and unexpectedly: a trick shoulder.

verb (used with object)

  1. to deceive by trickery.
  2. Heraldry. to indicate the tinctures of (a coat of arms) with engravers tricks.
  3. to cheat or swindle (usually followed by out of): to trick someone out of an inheritance.
  4. to beguile by trickery (usually followed by into).

verb (used without object)

  1. to practice trickery or deception; cheat.
  2. to play tricks; trifle (usually followed by with).
  3. Slang. to engage in sexual acts for hire.

Verb Phrases

  1. trick out, Informal. to embellish or adorn with or as if with ornaments or other attention-getting devices.


  1. do/turn the trick, to achieve the desired effect or result: Another turn of the pliers should do the trick.
  2. turn a trick, Slang. (of a prostitute) to engage in a sexual act with a customer.

Origin of trick 1375–1425; late Middle English trik (noun) Old North French trique deceit, derivative of trikier to deceive Vulgar Latin *triccāre, for Latin trīcārī to play tricksRelated formstrick·er, nountrick·ing·ly, adverbout·trick, verb (used with object)un·tricked, adjectiveSynonyms for trick 1. deception. Synonym study 1. Trick , artifice , ruse , stratagem , wile are terms for crafty or cunning devices that are intended to deceive. Trick , the general term, refers usually to an underhanded act designed to cheat someone, but it sometimes refers merely to a pleasurable deceiving of the senses: to win by a trick. Like trick , but to a greater degree, artifice emphasizes the cleverness, ingenuity, or cunning with which the proceeding is devised: an artifice of diabolical ingenuity. Ruse and stratagem emphasize the purpose for which the trick is designed; ruse is the more general term of the two, and stratagem sometimes implies a more elaborate procedure or a military application: He gained entrance by a ruse. His stratagem gave them command of the hill. W ile emphasizes the disarming effect of the trick upon those who are deceived: His wiles charmed them into trusting him. 18. See cheat. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 British Dictionary definitions for trick out trick out trick up verb

  1. (tr, adverb) to dress up; deck outtricked out in frilly dresses

trick noun

  1. a deceitful, cunning, or underhand action or plan
    1. a mischievous, malicious, or humorous action or plan; jokethe boys are up to their tricks again
    2. (as modifier)a trick spider
  2. an illusory or magical feat or device
  3. a simple feat learned by an animal or person
  4. an adroit or ingenious device; knacka trick of the trade
  5. a behavioural trait, habit, or mannerism
  6. a turn or round of duty or work
  7. cards
    1. a batch of cards containing one from each player, usually played in turn and won by the player or side that plays the card with the highest value
    2. a card that can potentially win a trick
  8. can’t take a trick Australian slang to be consistently unsuccessful or unlucky
  9. do the trick informal to produce the right or desired result
  10. how’s tricks? slang how are you?
  11. turn a trick slang (of a prostitute) to gain a customer


  1. to defraud, deceive, or cheat (someone), esp by means of a trick

Derived Formstricker, nountrickless, adjectiveWord Origin for trick C15: from Old Northern French trique, from trikier to deceive, from Old French trichier, ultimately from Latin trīcārī to play tricks 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 trick out trick n.

early 15c., “a cheat, a mean ruse,” from Old North French trique “trick, deceit, treachery, cheating,” from trikier “to deceive, to cheat,” variant of Old French trichier, probably from Vulgar Latin *triccare, from Latin tricari “be evasive, shuffle,” from tricæ “trifles, nonsense, a tangle of difficulties,” of unknown origin.

Meaning “a roguish prank” is recorded from 1580s; sense of “the art of doing something” is first attested 1610s. Meaning “prostitute’s client” is first attested 1915; earlier it was U.S. slang for “a robbery” (1865). Trick-or-treat is recorded from 1942.

trick v.

1590s, from trick (v.). Related: Tricked; tricking. An earlier sense of “to dress, adorn” (c.1500) is perhaps a different word entirely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper Idioms and Phrases with trick out trick out

Ornament or adorn, especially ostentatiously or garishly, as in She was all tricked out in beads and fringe and what-have-you. This term uses trick in the sense of “dress up” or “decorate,” a usage dating from about 1500. [Early 1700s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with trick

  • trick or treat
  • trick out
  • tricks of the trade
  • also see:

  • bag of tricks
  • confidence game (trick)
  • dirty tricks
  • do the trick
  • hat trick
  • how’s tricks
  • not miss a trick
  • teach an old dog new tricks
  • that does it (the trick)
  • turn a trick
  • up to one’s old tricks
  • The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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