Definition of cantrip in English:



  • A mischievous or playful act; a trick.

    • ‘Small, everyday cantrips, often considered party tricks by the more learned members of their race, are taught to whelplings, things like lighting a small fire, conjuring a cooling breeze, and the such.’
    • ‘My training isn't finished and most of my spells are weak cantrips.’
    • ‘Jinx liked that, because there was something reassuring in the countless little cantrips and tricks, so unlike anything he had known.’
    • ‘No longer did he smile and laugh as she performed cantrips and illusions, now he frowned, despising all magic, therefore despising her, she being a student of the magic arts.’
    • ‘As the cantrip for detecting magical aura levels finished, the usual tingling feeling came into his body, and instantly escalated.’
    practical joke, joke, prank, jape, stunt, antic, caper
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (also in the sense ‘witch's trick’): of unknown origin.