trick

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncertain.

If the second theory is correct, the term is cognate with Low German trekken, Middle High German trecken, trechen, Danish trække, and Old Frisian trekka.

Compare track, treachery, trig, and trigger.

Adjective[edit]

trick (comparative tricker, superlative trickest)

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

Noun[edit]

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 piece (or business) of a magician's (or any variety entertainer's) act.
    And for my next trick, I will pull a wombat out of a duffel bag.
  3. An effective, clever or quick way of doing something.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
    tricks of the trade;  what's the trick of getting this chair to fold up?
  4. Mischievous or annoying behavior; a prank.
    the tricks of boys
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Prior to this entry?)
  5. (dated) A particular habit or manner; a peculiarity; a trait.
    a trick of drumming with the fingers; a trick of frowning
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear act IV, scene VI:
      The trick of that voice I do well remember.
    • William Shakespeare,King John Act I, scene I
      He hath a trick of Cœur de Lion's face.
  6. A knot, braid, or plait of hair.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)
  7. (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.
    • Alexander Pope
      On one nice trick depends the general fate.
  8. (slang) An act of prostitution. Generally used with turn.
    At the worst point, she was turning ten tricks a day.
  9. (slang) A customer to a prostitute.
    As the businessman rounded the corner, she thought, "Here comes another trick."
  10. An entertaining difficult physical action.
    That's a nice skateboard, but can you do any tricks on it?
  11. A daily period of work, especially in shift-based jobs.
    • 1885, Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, The Conductor and Brakeman, page 496:
      On third trick from 12 m. to 8 am, we have W. A. White, formerly operator at Wallula, who thus far has given general satisfaction.
    • 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

trick (third-person singular simple present tricks, present participle tricking, simple 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 []
    • Ben Jonson
      They forget that they are in the statutes: [] there they are tricked, they and their pedigrees.
  3. To dress; to decorate; to adorn fantastically; often followed by up, off, or out.
    • Alexander Pope
      Trick her off in air.
    • John Locke
      Tricking up their children in fine clothes.
    • Macaulay
      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[edit]

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]