Definition of trick noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//trɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//trɪk//
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    something to cheat somebody
  1. 1  something that you do to make somebody believe something which is not true, or to annoy somebody as a joke They had to think of a trick to get past the guards. The kids are always playing tricks on their teacher. see also confidence trick, dirty trick
  2. something confusing
  3. 2  something that confuses you so that you see, understand, remember, etc. things in the wrong way One of the problems of old age is that your memory can start to play tricks on you. Was there somebody standing there or was it a trick of the light?
  4. entertainment
  5. 3  a clever action that somebody/something performs as a way of entertaining people He amused the kids with conjuring tricks. a card trick see also hat-trick
  6. good method
  7. 4[usually singular] a way of doing something that works well; a good method The trick is to pick the animal up by the back of its neck. He used the old trick of attacking in order to defend himself.
  8. in card games
  9. 5the cards that you play or win in a single part of a card game I won six tricks in a row.
  10. Word Origin late Middle English (as a noun): from an Old French dialect variant of triche, from trichier ‘deceive’, of unknown origin. Current senses of the verb date from the mid 16th cent.Extra examples A trick of the light made it look like she was pregnant. Another neat trick is to add lemon peel to the water. He’s learned a trick or two in his time working in the tax office. I could teach him a trick or two. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. She won’t fall for such a stupid trick. The party chairman accused the opposition of dirty tricks in their election campaign. The real trick is predicting the market two years down the line. The trick is to keep your body still and your arms relaxed. There’s no trick to it—you just need lots of practice. These rhetorical tricks are common in political speeches. Very few camera tricks are employed. We decided to play a little trick on the teacher. a trick for getting out red wine stains the kinds of accounting tricks that get CEOs into trouble It was a trick question. What a dirty trick to play! You had me fooled there! Where did you learn that trick?Idioms (informal) a set of methods or equipment that somebody can use Hotel managers are using a whole new bag of tricks to attract their guests.
    be up to your (old) tricks
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    (informal, disapproving) to be behaving in the same bad way as before He had soon spent all the money and was up to his old tricks.
    (informal) to succeed in solving a problem or achieving a particular result I don't know what it was that did the trick, but I am definitely feeling much better.
    every trick in the book
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    every available method, whether it is honest or not He'll try every trick in the book to stop you from winning.
    have a trick, some more tricks, etc. up your sleeve
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    to have an idea, some plans, etc. that you keep ready to use if it becomes necessary
    he, she, etc. doesn’t miss a trick
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    (informal) used to say that somebody notices every opportunity to gain an advantage
    (you can’t) teach an old dog new tricks
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    (saying) (you cannot) successfully make people change their ideas, methods of work, etc., when they have had them for a long time
    said by children who visit people’s houses at Halloween and threaten to play tricks on people who do not give them sweets/candy
    the tricks of the trade
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    the clever ways of doing things, known and used by people who do a particular job or activity
    (North American English, slang) to have sex with somebody for money
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: trick