One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business.
publicity device, stunt, contrivance, eye-catching novelty, scheme, trick, dodge, ploy, stratagemView synonyms
- ‘A traveling showman added a gimmick to his sales by vending cards through machines.’
- ‘It doesn't need gimmicks to attract youth, it needs excellence and, in particular, it needs excellence at international level.’
- ‘It seems a contrivance, a gimmick designed to get attention, which it does.’
- ‘It is more like a sales gimmick which targets the poor and uneducated.’
- ‘However, many journalists and others were almost certain that it was a publicity-seeking gimmick.’
- ‘But it is also overcooked and frenetic, with some visual tricks and gimmicks repeated often enough to induce a diminishing return of novelty and effect.’
- ‘His stubborn puritanical simplicity was sometimes dismissed as a publicity gimmick.’
- ‘They are glossy, glib and trot out all the gimmicks and tricks to catch your attention - and are pointless as anything other than that.’
- ‘People have talked dismissively of gimmicks but these gimmicks are going down well in my constituency.’
- ‘He denied the scheme was a gimmick which would have little effect on the rocketing street crime problem.’
- ‘When choosing a children's savings account, ignore the gimmicks, free gifts and advertising featuring cartoon characters or celebrities.’
- ‘Candidates also promote online games and gimmicks to enhance fund-raising activities on their sites.’
- ‘Critics have wasted no time dismissing the scheme as a gimmick or proof that the government have run out of ideas.’
- ‘Product innovations, and not short-term gimmicks should be used as devices to improve bottomlines.’
- ‘These actors forge a nice bridge between the two shows and their appearances never feel like gimmicks or stunt casting.’
- ‘No tricks, no gimmicks, no unpleasant taste in your mouth the next morning.’
- ‘Colourful stickers, festoons, bargain deals and a whole range of sales gimmicks are employed to lure customers.’
- ‘This is mainly a fund-raising gimmick for a couple of right of center interest groups.’
- ‘He challenged the Government to reveal the full cost to taxpayers of what he termed a publicity gimmick.’
- ‘At children's parties you have acts like magicians and balloon-benders; at adult parties you have gimmicks to hold the guests' attention.’
1920s (originally US): of unknown origin but possibly an approximate anagram of magic, the original sense being ‘a piece of magicians' apparatus’.
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