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Loki, a trickster figure of Norse mythology, cuts the hair of the goddess Sif
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From trick +‎ -ster.


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 [] .
    • 2015, J. Douglas Canfield, Tricksters and Estates: On the Ideology of Restoration Comedy[1], page 31:
      And let us begin with those sympathetic elements, the tricksters who obtain the lovers and the land, always at the expense of fools and knaves, sometimes at the expense of other tricksters.
  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).


Related terms[edit]


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trickster (third-person singular simple present tricksters, present participle trickstering, simple past and past participle trickstered)

  1. (intransitive) To engage in the antics of a trickster; to play tricks.

See also[edit]