Etymology: Middle English trikke, from Anglo-French *trik, from trikier to deceive, cheat, from Vulgar Latin *triccare, alteration of Latin tricari to behave evasively, shuffle, from tricae complications, trifles
Date: 15th century
a. a crafty procedure or practice meant to deceive or defraud
b. a mischievous act ; prank
c. an indiscreet or childish action
d. a deceptive, dexterous, or ingenious feat; especially one designed to puzzle or amuse <a juggler's tricks> 2. a. a habitual peculiarity of behavior or manner <a horse with the trick of shying> b. a characteristic and identifying feature <a trick of speech> c. a delusive appearance especially when caused by art or legerdemain ; an optical illusion <a mere trick of the light> 3. a. (1) a quick or artful way of getting a result ; knack <the trick is to make it look natural> (2) an instance of getting a desired result <one small adjustment will do the trick> b. a technical device (as of an art or craft) <the tricks of stage technique> 4. the cards played in one round of a card game often used as a scoring unit 5. a. a turn of duty at the helm usually lasting for two hours b. shift 4b(1) c. a trip taken as part of one's employment d. a sexual act performed by a prostitute <turning tricks>; also john 2 6. an attractive child or woman <a cute little trick> Synonyms: trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end <the tricks of the trade>. ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression <the ruses of smugglers>. stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy <the stratagem-filled game>. maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty <last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy>. artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention <the clever artifices of the stage>. wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements <used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself>. feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent <a feint toward the enemy's left flank>. II. transitive verb Date: circa 1500 1. to dress or adorn fancifully or ornately ; ornament <tricked out in a gaudy uniform> 2. to deceive by cunning or artifice ; cheat III. adjective Date: circa 1530 1. trig 2. a. of or relating to or involving tricks or trickery <trick photography> <trick dice> b. skilled in or used for tricks <a trick horse> 3. a. somewhat defective and unreliable <a trick lock> b. inclined to give way unexpectedly <a trick knee>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.