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From trick +‎ -y.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹɪk.i/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪki


tricky (comparative trickier, superlative trickiest)

  1. Hard to deal with, complicated.
    They were in a tricky situation.
    • 1964 September, “News: Fewer diesels for NER in 1965”, in Modern Railways, page 201:
      Several types of diesel locomotive have been tested on this working and as a result the probable choice will be Type 2 diesels in pairs, without bankers. The crucial factor in the selection of this method is the higher degree of adhesion obtained than with a single Type 4; on trial one of the latter showed that in very adverse conditions it might slip to a standstill at one of the two tricky spots on the steep climb from Tyne Dock to Consett.
    • 2012 September 15, Amy Lawrence, “Arsenal's Gervinho enjoys the joy of six against lowly Southampton”, in the Guardian[1]:
      It was as comfortable an afternoon as Arsène Wenger could have wished for in a situation that can be tricky in between internationals and the upcoming Champions League.
  2. Adept at using deception.
    A tricky salesman can sell anything.
  3. (colloquial, slang) Relating to or associated with a prostitution trick.
    I don't want any of your tricky money, thank you!

Related terms[edit]


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