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See also: Trick
- Perhaps from Middle English *trikke, from Old Northern French trique (related to Old French trichier (“to defraud, act dishonestly, conceal, deceive, cheat”); > modern French tricher), itself possibly from Middle High German trechen (“to launch a shot at, play a trick on”), or one of its derivatives (e.g. Middle High German ūftrechen (“to do something to someone, hurt someone”), vertrechen (“to conceal, get over on someone”), zuotrechen (“to obtain falsely or deceitfully, wangle, finagle”), etc.); yet the Old French verb is equally likely to be derived from Vulgar Latin *triccāre, from Late Latin tricāre, from Latin trīcor, trīcārī (“dodge, search for detours; haggle, quibble”).
- Alternatively, perhaps from Middle Dutch treck, trec (“draw, line, desire, game move, cord, stratagem, ruse, trick”), from Middle Dutch trekken, trēken (“to pull, place, put, move”), from Old Dutch *trekken, *trekan (“to move, drag”), from Proto-Germanic *trakjaną, *trekaną (“to drag, scrape, pull”), from Proto-Indo-European *dreg- (“to drag, scrape”).
If the second proposal is correct, the term is cognate with Low German trekken, Middle High German trecken, trechen, Danish trække, and Old Frisian trekka, Romanian truc and other Romance languages.
Compare track, treachery, trig, and trigger.
trick (plural tricks)
- Something designed to fool or swindle.
- It was just a trick to say that the house was underpriced.
- 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.
- 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.
- An effective, clever or quick way of doing something.
- tricks of the trade; what's the trick of getting this chair to fold up?
- 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in 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.
- Mischievous or annoying behavior; a prank.
- the tricks of boys
- They played a crude trick on the teacher.
- (dated) A particular habit or manner; a peculiarity; a trait.
- a trick of drumming with the fingers; a trick of frowning
- c. 1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i]:
- He hath a trick of Cœur de Lion's face.
- c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene vi]:
- The trick of that voice I do well remember.
- A knot, braid, or plait of hair.
- 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: […], London: […] [R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] […], published 1602, →OCLC, (please specify the page), (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
- I cannot tell , but it stirs me more than all your court curls , or your spangles , or your tricks
- (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.
- 1712, Pope, Alexander, “Canto III”, in The Rape of the Lock, lines 93–94; republished in The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Boston, New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1902, page 94:
- And now (as oft in some distemper'd state) / On one nice trick depends the gen'ral fate!
- (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: […]
- (slang) A customer or client of a prostitute.
- Synonyms: john; see also Thesaurus:prostitute's client
- 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.
- (slang, vulgar) A term of abuse.
- 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.
- (nautical) A sailor's spell of work at the helm, usually two hours long.
- 1902, John Masefield, Sea Fever:
- I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
- A toy; a trifle; a plaything.
- 1599, [anonymous], “When as Thine Eye hath Chose the Dame”, in The Passionate Pilgrime. […], 2nd edition, London: […] [Thomas Judson] for W[illiam] Iaggard, and are to be sold by W[illiam] Leake, […], →OCLC:
- The vviles and guiles that vvomen vvorke, / Diſſembled vvith an outvvard ſhevv: / The tricks and toyes that in them lurke, / The Cock that treads thẽ [them] ſhall not knovv, […]
- (something designed to fool): artifice, con, gambit, ploy, rip-off, See also Thesaurus:deception
- (magic trick): illusion, magic trick, sleight of hand
- (entertaining difficult physical action):
- (daily period of work): shift
Terms derived from trick (noun)
something designed to fool
effective, clever or quick way of doing something
mischievous or annoying behavior; a prank
winning sequence in cards
slang: act of prostitution
slang: customer to a prostitute
sailor's spell of work at the helm
trick (third-person singular simple present tricks, present participle tricking, simple past and past participle tricked)
- (transitive) To fool; to cause to believe something untrue; to deceive.
- You tried to trick me when you said that house was underpriced.
- (heraldry) To draw (as opposed to blazon - to describe in words).
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
- 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: […] [R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] […], published 1602, →OCLC, Act I:
- They forget that they are in the statutes: […] there they are trick'd, they and their pedigrees.
- To dress; to decorate; to adorn fantastically; often followed by up, off, or out.
- 1624, Henry Wotton, “The Seate, and the Worke”, in The Elements of Architecture, […], London: […] Iohn Bill, →OCLC, I. part, page 38:
- [T]his Pillar [the "Compounded Order"] is nothing in effect, but a Medlie, or an Amaſſe of all the precedent Ornaments, making a nevv kinde, by ſtealth, and though the moſt richly tricked, yet the pooreſt in this, that he is a borrovver of all his Beautie.
- 1693, [John Locke], “(please specify the section number)”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], →OCLC:
- Tricking up their children in fine clothes.
- 1735, Alexander Pope, Of the Characters of Women:
- Trick her off in air.
- 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.
- (to fool): con, dupe, fool, gull, have, hoodwink, pull the wool over someone's eyes, rip off
- (to trick out): mod
- See also Thesaurus:deceive
Terms derived from the adjective or verb trick
to fool; to cause to believe something untrue
trick (comparative tricker, superlative trickest)
- Involving trickery or deception.
- trick photography
- Able to perform tricks.
- A trick pony
- Defective or unreliable.
- a trick knee
- (chiefly US, slang) Stylish or cool.
- Wow, your new sportscar is so trick.
trick (singular definite tricket, plural indefinite trickene)
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- “trick” in Den Danske Ordbog
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