Topic: GAMES

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old North French
Origin: trique, from trikier 'to deceive, cheat', from Old French trichier


1 noun
trick1 S3 [countable]

something that deceives somebody

something you do in order to deceive someone:
Pretending he doesn't remember is an old trick of his.
He didn't really lose his wallet - that's just a trick.


something you do to surprise someone and to make other people laugh:
I'm getting tired of your silly tricks.
The girls were playing tricks on their teacher.

something that makes things appear different

something that makes things appear to be different from the way they really are:
After walking for hours in the hot sun, his mind began playing tricks on him.
At first he thought someone was coming towards him, but it was just a trick of the light.

a dirty/rotten/mean trick

an unkind or unfair thing to do:
He didn't turn up? What a dirty trick!

do the trick

spoken if something does the trick, it solves a problem or provides what is needed to get a good result:
A bit more flour should do the trick.


DG a skilful set of actions that seem like magic, done to entertain people:
My uncle was always showing me card tricks when I was a kid.

clever method

a way of doing something that works very well but may not be easy to notice:
The trick is to bend your knees as you catch the ball.
a salesman who knew all the tricks of the trade (=clever methods used in a particular job)

use/try every trick in the book

to use every method that you know, even dishonest ones, to achieve what you want

teach/show somebody a trick or two

informal used to say that someone knows more than someone else or can do something better than them:
Experienced teachers can show new teachers a trick or two.

somebody is up to their (old) tricks

informal to be doing the same dishonest things that you have often done before


the cards played or won in one part of a game of cards:
He won the first three tricks easily.


have a trick of doing something

British English to have a habit of using a particular expression or of moving your face or body in a particular way:
She had this trick of raising her eyebrows at the end of a question.

never miss a trick

spoken to always know exactly what is happening even if it does not concern you:
Dave's found out. He never misses a trick, does he?.

how's tricks?

old-fashioned spoken used to greet someone in a friendly way:
Hello, Bill! How's tricks?


American English old-fashioned informal someone who pays a prostitute to have sex
turn a trick (=to have sex with someone for money)
confidence trick

; ➔ dirty trick

at dirty1 (6)

; ➔ you can't teach an old dog new tricks

at teach (7), hat trick

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