A trick is a hoax or sneaky scheme. If you fool people into thinking they're donating to a good cause when you're really keeping their money, you're playing a trick on them. It's not nice to trick people.

"A mean ruse" is the oldest meaning of trick, which is rooted in the Latin tricari, "be evasive." Today it's also used for less mean-spirited deceptions, including funny practical jokes and a magician's sleight-of-hand illusions, commonly called magic tricks. To trick someone is to fool them, and if you hold a trick in your hand, you're playing bridge, hearts, or another "trick-taking" card game.

Primary Meanings of trick

a cunning or deceitful action or device
deceive somebody
(card games) in a single round, the sequence of cards played by all the players; the high card is the winner
a prostitute's customer
a period of work or duty
Full Definitions of trick

n a cunning or deceitful action or device

“he played a trick on me”
fast one
schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik
(Yiddish) a devious trick; a bit of cheating
Type of:
device, gimmick, twist
any clever maneuver

n an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers

conjuration, conjuring trick, deception, illusion, legerdemain, magic, magic trick, thaumaturgy
card trick
a trick performed with playing cards
prestidigitation, sleight of hand
manual dexterity in the execution of tricks
Type of:
the act of presenting a play or a piece of music or other entertainment

n an attempt to get you to do something foolish or imprudent

“that offer was a dirty trick
Type of:
dishonesty, knavery
lack of honesty; acts of lying or cheating or stealing

n a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement

antic, caper, joke, prank, put-on
show 6 types...
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dirty trick
an unkind or aggressive trick
practical joke
a prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish)
April fool
a practical joke or trick played on the first day of April
a practical joke that involves inserting a match surreptitiously between the sole and upper of the victim's shoe and then lighting it
a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)
snipe hunt
an elaborate practical joke in which the unsuspecting victim hunts a snipe and is typically left in the dark holding a bag and waiting for the snipe to run into it
Type of:
diversion, recreation
an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

v deceive somebody

“We tricked the teacher into thinking that class would be cancelled next week”
flim-flam, fob, fox, play a joke on, play a trick on, play tricks, pull a fast one on
fool or dupe
Type of:
cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
be false to; be dishonest with

n (card games) in a single round, the sequence of cards played by all the players; the high card is the winner

Type of:
play, turn
(game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession

n a prostitute's customer

Type of:
client, customer
someone who pays for goods or services

n a period of work or duty

Type of:
duty period, shift, work shift
the time period during which you are at work

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