Definition of trick in US English:



  • 1A cunning or skillful act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone.

    ‘he's a double-dealer capable of any mean trick’
    • ‘He may try the same trick of creating targets, but the point to note is that at least he is taking these challenges seriously.’
    • ‘Irham said that candidates were found to have used various tricks to deceive the poll commission in their registration documents.’
    • ‘It aims to expose scams, reveal tricks, soothe anxieties, and ease the passage of the novice into cyberworld.’
    • ‘They just could not understand how anyone would be deceived by the trick.’
    • ‘It is only because of his cunning tricks that my mother agreed to help him.’
    • ‘Ministerial tricks and power ploys are, therefore, familiar ground.’
    • ‘So many tricks and scams hidden in various aspects of our lives today were almost unheard of just a few decades ago.’
    • ‘I don't want to hear about your mind games or your manipulative tricks anymore.’
    • ‘I just had moved past those tricks and I preferred not to do them anymore.’
    • ‘Cynics might say that hiring a young man with a name made for headline writers, who also happens to be English, was a cunning marketing trick and has very little to do with motor racing.’
    • ‘What (if anything at all) do tricks, hoaxes, and games have to do with your work?’
    • ‘Few were deceived, but it does not prevent the same trick being used again and again.’
    • ‘They both seem eager to give the impression they don't require any tricks or subterfuge to advance.’
    • ‘But apart from bluffs, tricks, and mayhem, the coming year may be a boon for babies.’
    • ‘The chancellor, claiming they would mean £50 billion of spending cuts, appears to be up to his old double-counting tricks.’
    • ‘Set aside the usual circus ring tricks of political chicanery.’
    • ‘Its surprisingly short length is a cunning trick, since this tantalizing opening leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat wanting to hear a few more snippets.’
    • ‘But this is simply a cunning trick to make you forget that you're over-paying for this protection!’
    • ‘But this move is a trick; it contradicts the conditions of the problem as posed.’
    • ‘Instead, many companies are burying higher charges through various tricks and ploys, which is why consumers need to be all the more vigilant.’
    stratagem, ploy, ruse, scheme, device, move, manoeuvre, contrivance, machination, expedient, artifice, wile, dodge
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    1. 1.1 A mischievous practical joke.
      ‘she thought Elaine was playing some trick on her’
      • ‘Over the years, he has taken hold of his practical joke side to bombard me with as many tricks as humanly possible.’
      • ‘It might be love if only they can stop playing nasty practical tricks on each other.’
      • ‘Jinx liked that, because there was something reassuring in the countless little cantrips and tricks, so unlike anything he had known.’
      • ‘In the majority of Western cultures, tricks and jokes are played on the bride and groom separately at small parties held prior to the big day.’
      • ‘When Alicia would pull on it, the vent would be so loud, Alicia thought Jamaal was playing tricks - pretending she wasn't there.’
      • ‘Jay knew she wasn't invited, and this was all a big joke… a trick!’
      • ‘All Shakespeare's fairies are associated with jokes, tricks, and disguise; all are linked with the countryside and country life.’
      • ‘They're the mischievous little imps that play tricks on us all the time.’
      • ‘He would sneak around at night and set up jokes and tricks and then laugh at the staff members who got caught in them.’
      • ‘He flits and flies all over the camp, scampers and gambols, plays little mischievous tricks on everyone.’
      • ‘After tricks after jokes, after everything Jon has done, I have never been so scared by one of them, as I was by this one.’
      • ‘When most people think of April Fool's Day, tricks, pranks or even bad jokes come to mind.’
      practical joke, joke, prank, jape, stunt, antic, caper
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    2. 1.2 An illusion.
      ‘I thought I saw a flicker of emotion, but it was probably a trick of the light’
      • ‘Whether it is a plesiosaurus, an eel or a trick of the light, it remains to be seen whether something is really out there.’
      • ‘No longer would the antics of superheroes be confined to the visual tricks.’
      • ‘But then again it could just be a trick of the light!’
      • ‘There was a shadow, or a trick of the light, where wall should be.’
      • ‘They seemed to be quite decrepit, but that may have been only a trick of the light.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Is this contentment, or just a trick of the light?’
      • ‘Maybe it was a trick of the light, but the fire seemed brighter.’
      • ‘Was it a trick of the light, or did I see one rock moving?’
      • ‘Méliès's illusionist tricks were wildly popular and influential - and frequently pirated.’
      • ‘You come to know the character as a trick of the camera, and then he starts moving with human fluidity through a strange, featureless world.’
      • ‘You can learn the mysteries of illusion, puzzles and tricks at Tommy's Magic Workshop and take home your very own Magic Pack to amaze your friends.’
      • ‘Small boards are used for tricks and aerial stunts while larger, more stable boards are faster, and better for big jumps.’
      • ‘So the world of Dali is undoubtedly one of duplicity, tricks, mysteries and illusions.’
      • ‘And then Elena saw the change in him, so fast, so dramatic, that she wondered if she had really witnessed it or if it had been a trick of the light.’
      • ‘On the other hand, consumers have long since become wise to the tricks of visual designers, and adjust their expectations accordingly.’
      • ‘The unifying theme of the exhibition is Dali's love of visual tricks - the double images, puns and illusions that litter his work in all its phases.’
      • ‘Orpen delighted in such tricks and illusions with mirrors and reflections play an important part in his work.’
      • ‘So I think it's probably a bit of silliness caused by a trick of the light.’
      • ‘For the next decade he worked mainly as a commercial artist, particularly on the designing of posters, showing a keen interest in visual tricks and space illusions.’
      illusion, optical illusion, deception, figment of the imagination
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    3. 1.3 A skillful act performed for entertainment or amusement.
      ‘he did conjuring tricks for his daughters’
      • ‘We also pride ourselves not only on the ability to do the pen trick (honed through three years of practice), but also a world renowned cow impression.’
      • ‘A magician might deceive you but at least you know it's a trick.’
      • ‘Any magician will tell you that misdirection is the first principle of sleight-of-hand tricks.’
      • ‘She also performed a few magic tricks to enthral the students.’
      • ‘A Western team filmed him with infrared cameras and, of course, were able to show that he was performing a conjuring trick.’
      • ‘He would also practice little tricks here & there trying to get them down like what he saw on stage.’
      • ‘But even fewer could say they were entertained by their own dad performing magic tricks.’
      • ‘The choir was practising its polyphony and we had Neville practising his magical tricks; he got them wrong again, but they didn't think it was the least bit funny.’
      • ‘They introduced him to the village; he played his gramophone, performed conjuring tricks, put on puppet shows, and talked about justice for the peasants.’
      • ‘But eventually, the endless procession of gravity-defying tricks and wild stunts feels like skater porn.’
      • ‘The questions, both silly and taxing, were demonstrated using party tricks and wheezes, then explained scientifically to lend the programme an educational edge.’
      • ‘Hannes Kaufmann, will be the master of ceremonies, and is already practicing and rehearsing jokes and tricks for the evening.’
      • ‘Interesting things take place when you perform conjuring tricks for people.’
      • ‘In the same way I used to practice my magic tricks, I practiced pretexting.’
      • ‘Before long they were also performing tricks to entertain spectators at half-time.’
      • ‘Understanding how your audience thinks is the key to a great response to a trick, not the sleight of hand, he says.’
      • ‘Some of the world's top winter sport competitors dazzled Manchester crowds with a daring array of stunts and tricks.’
      • ‘Requests new to the circle brought about plenty of laughs, with the rope trick, songs and jokes.’
      • ‘Plummy amused the whole school, over 220 pupils, with tricks and jokes while Ivan performed his unsupported ladder act, which included juggling.’
      • ‘I would not be allowed to watch him and Aiken perform little magic tricks for my amusement.’
      feat, stunt
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 A clever or particular way of doing something.
      ‘the trick is to put one ski forward and kneel’
      • ‘You can't reveal their hidden microphones or mimic their tricks with sleight of hand.’
      • ‘He did tricks and fancy moves with his sword as he danced around the clearing with lightning speed.’
      • ‘There is a very cunning trick to the site, but it took me some time to spot what it was.’
      • ‘The fun ebbed from his game, and the tricks looked tired.’
      • ‘So our concern is not to answer the relativist by some cunning intellectual or metaphysical trick.’
      • ‘Jake uses steps, walls and railings in areas of West Swindon to practise his tricks.’
      • ‘And when your enthusiasm for walking wanes, try these six tricks to keep moving on the fitness path.’
      • ‘Pretty soon, she had learnt all the tricks of the game along with the jargon!’
      • ‘I know all the tricks, the dodges, the right queues to be in, a handy way of always getting into the fast lane for security.’
      • ‘These are, after all, his own tricks in the game.’
      • ‘The most effective move known to womankind involves stimulating three erogenous zones with one cunning hand trick.’
      • ‘First, I note that many readers thought that some intended camera trick had brought about these strange smears and trails.’
      • ‘The plot moves chronologically with no tricks of time or setting.’
      • ‘We watched a group of skater boys practicing their tricks on various walls and steps.’
      • ‘The party mood spilled into the game with French tricks and flicks on show for a frenzied audience.’
      • ‘The trick to the game is that the ‘magic code’ uses the same symbol for every number that is a multiple of 9.’
      • ‘Rather, the trick is to pretend to be abnormal yourself, since any ordinary person would be completely star-struck.’
      • ‘He says the key is keeping tension on the string and progressing from basic tricks to more complicated manoeuvres.’
      • ‘The revised bylaw allows skaters to get around safely and practice their tricks without facing fines.’
      • ‘With a few cunning camera tricks and makeup, he literally becomes a paralyzed man, both of body and of heart.’
      technique, knack, art, skill
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  • 2A peculiar or characteristic habit or mannerism.

    ‘she had a trick of clipping off certain words and phrases’
    • ‘The student has picked up a mannerism or trick, perhaps from a film or pop source, whose real origin is Schoenberg or Messiaen.’
    • ‘Charlie senior, famed for his red nose and bowler hat, was known all over the world for his tricks, humour and ability to play countless musical instruments.’
    • ‘Michael used his consistency of different style tricks, showing what Alice has to offer.’
    • ‘We do our usual trick of ignoring him completely while not getting between him and the art, and he returns the favour by ignoring us and quietly declining to even acknowledge our existence.’
    • ‘Is it that people are too much alike and only have so many tricks and foibles?’
    • ‘In fact, I knew Laras and what she was all about, her tricks and ploys to win people over.’
    • ‘Burke provided all manner of tricks and class and cutting edge wherever he roamed but his excellent work was never capitalised upon.’
    • ‘Burr's wiles and tricks, his guile and variation, have been in ample evidence since his rapid demolition of Greenock.’
    mannerism, habit, practice, quirk, idiosyncrasy, peculiarity, foible, eccentricity, way, characteristic, trait
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  • 3(in bridge, whist, and similar card games) a sequence of cards forming a single round of play. One card is laid down by each player, the highest card being the winner.

    • ‘If the sheet is played, it neutralises every card in the trick save the one played just before it.’
    • ‘The basic object of the game is to take more than half of these card points in tricks.’
    • ‘The center cards are given to the first player capturing a trick with a heart or with the queen of spades.’
    • ‘The card used for the trick may be chosen from either the concealed hand or from the showcase.’
    • ‘These constraints do not apply when a blooper is played other than as the first card of a trick.’
    • ‘The winner of the trick is the last person who played a card of the same rank as the original lead or a wild card.’
    • ‘When all the cards have been played each player counts the value of the cards in their tricks.’
    • ‘The winner of the trick is determined according to the rules set out below for each type of lead.’
    • ‘Next, the players play to tricks, with the winner of each trick replacing their card with their choice of one of two exposed cards and the loser receiving the other card.’
    • ‘The cards have point values and the object is to take tricks containing valuable cards.’
    • ‘When a trick is won, choose a card in that trick that is of the same suit of the card that led the trick, and put it face up.’
    • ‘You may ask to look at the cards played to a trick by the other players as long as your own card is face up.’
    • ‘The winner scores the point value of the two cards in the trick, as per the table above.’
    • ‘If the very last trick has no winner its cards go to the winner of the previous trick.’
    • ‘If all players discard their final card on the same trick, no points are awarded.’
    • ‘Alternatively, if the players trust each other they can simply play to tricks in the usual manner and make a mental note of whether they were truthful during the bidding.’
    • ‘It will always exist, from people turning tricks for a few quid, to thousand pound a night ‘escorts’ and everything in between.’
    • ‘When it is your turn to play to the trick, a card of your suit must be played.’
    • ‘A new card is dealt to each player immediately after they play a card to the trick.’
    • ‘Also, the card led cannot be higher in rank than the winning card of the previous trick.’
  • 4informal A prostitute's client.

    • ‘Sheila started turning tricks four years ago when she was 16.’
    • ‘Accept and publish any bad trick reports you get even if it might seem like a less serious incident.’
    • ‘He was romancing his long-term girlfriend when he was arrested for getting oral sex from the $60-a-'trick' prostitute.’
    customer, client, kerb-crawler
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  • 5A sailor's turn at the helm, usually lasting for two or four hours.

    • ‘Steelkilt calculated his time, and found that his next trick at the helm would come round at two o'clock.’
    • ‘Indeed, one or two tricks up the mast were carried out by the senior ERA.’


[with object]
  • 1Deceive or outwit (someone) by being cunning or skillful.

    ‘buyers can be tricked by savvy sellers’
    • ‘By tricking the girls into believing she is doing background research for upcoming talk shows, Stacy begins to interview each of them and subsequently gets much more than she bargained for.’
    • ‘I felt satisfied with the explanation; I actually felt proud that Nicaraguans were so smart about tricking the war people.’
    • ‘The forgers' key to tricking the archaeologists was crafting an authentic-looking patina.’
    • ‘Given its place of pride in his book, Ashcroft's father tricking him seems to be his most beloved, or at least most vibrant, childhood memory.’
    • ‘The boy reporter befriends them; he tricks them; sometimes he simply avoids them.’
    • ‘She was sick of being fooled, tricked, deceived, taken advantage of, and hundreds of other things.’
    • ‘The British Airways first officer subjected his 34-year-old victim to a terrifying assault after tricking his way into her hotel room in Norway.’
    • ‘Between the four of you, you must trick the tricksters, fool the foolers, and outwit the outwitters.’
    • ‘Did the author have a guilty conscience about tricking everyone?’
    • ‘But they started tricking readers early, with Saturday's front page reminder about the end of daylight savings.’
    • ‘One must not deceive or trick others in buying or selling.’
    • ‘My mom, who is younger and faster, has even gone to the length of tricking my dad into stepping away from the computer and then racing to take his place.’
    • ‘Presumably the six contestants could argue that they were tricked or deceived though, couldn't they?’
    • ‘And what happens when a fraudster tricks an iris-scanning machine by using a digital image of somebody else's eye?’
    • ‘A callous burglar who stole one pensioner's life savings and left another in tears after tricking his way into her home and stealing her purse, has been jailed for five years.’
    • ‘The whole silly idea that I'd avoid lateness by tricking myself has just gotten too ridiculous.’
    • ‘To assert her seniority and dominance in the house, the first wife repeatedly tricks and deceives her co-wives to land them in trouble with their husband.’
    • ‘And no one even cared that my wine was tricking them!’
    • ‘They were sly and quick with words and a smile, cunningly tricking their foes.’
    deceive, delude, hoodwink, mislead, take in, dupe, fool, double-cross, cheat, defraud, swindle, outwit, outmanoeuvre, catch out, gull, hoax, bamboozle, beguile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1trick someone into Use deception to make someone do (something)
      ‘he tricked her into parting with the money’
      • ‘I still can't believe he tricked me into that, though!’
      • ‘When the genie tricks the child into setting him free, the witch is in trouble.’
      • ‘One of the most magical qualities of fishing is that only through experimentation do we discover new and wonderful ways of tricking our quarry into taking the bait.’
      • ‘The play tells of a lady seduced by a villain after being tricked into believing her husband is having an affair.’
      • ‘However, trading standards officers in Derbyshire have warned that the story is too good to be true and is simply a way of tricking a victim into releasing their bank account details.’
      • ‘She clearly remembered when she tricked Lucas into going in the wrong direction.’
      • ‘But he denied the charge and a fellow prisoner later came forward and admitted he tricked him into smoking a cigarette which contained illegal substances.’
      • ‘He tricked Sita into crossing the circle and took her to his island kingdom in Lanka.’
      • ‘This tricks plants into flowering out of season.’
      • ‘Another anti-obesity pill, one which tricks the brain into making the stomach feel full, has just been launched in the UK.’
    2. 1.2trick someone out of Use deception to deprive someone of (something)
      ‘the king was tricked out of his land’
      • ‘Restaurants try to trick you out of a little more money in exchange for a lot more food.’
      • ‘Emotion was there to trick us out of applying reason.’
      • ‘In the 1980s, some primatologists noticed that monkeys and apes - unlike other mammals - sometimes deceived members of their own species, in order to trick them out of food or sneak off for some furtive courtships.’
      • ‘Instead, she uses cajolery, deception, and sexual manipulation to trick him out of consummating the marriage.’
      • ‘A conman posing as a police officer is believed to have struck four times in Wickford, preying on women in their 80s and tricking them out of money.’
      • ‘Yesterday he vehemently denied deliberately hatching the elaborate scheme to trick Mrs Fretwell out of her home.’
      • ‘A conwoman who has been waking people in the middle of the night, spinning a sob story to trick them out of money has been foiled by an 80-year-old woman.’
      • ‘I'm going to give you my reason for why we're in this war, so have enough respect for me to believe what I say; I'm not trying to trick you out of your opinions.’
      • ‘A pensioner today told how she defied a conman who tried to trick her out of thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘And no matter how little or how much money you have, there'll always be people hoping to trick you out of it.’
      deprive, strip, dispossess, relieve
      View synonyms
  • 2Heraldry
    Sketch (a coat of arms) in outline, with the colors indicated by letters or signs.

    • ‘Can you 'trick' this representation to indicate the tinctures or colours?’


  • 1Intended or used to deceive or mystify, or to create an illusion.

    ‘a trick question’
    • ‘I don't know what trick question those 30 percent of respondents were asked, but the answer they are said to have given is balderdash.’
    • ‘I knew she was asking me a trick question, so I went for it.’
    • ‘I'm not sure sure whether this counts as a trick question.’
    • ‘I assumed he had been rifling through my wallet, and that he was now asking me trick questions.’
    • ‘They're true or false, all right, and they're all trick questions.’
    • ‘Now for those of you who have been lucky enough to have escaped this ordeal, let me tell you that this is a trick question.’
    • ‘It is not an optical illusion or trick photography.’
    • ‘For some reason, I'm a sucker for trick questions.’
    • ‘Despite the trick photography involved, it still calls for some nifty footwork and Niall rises to the occasion.’
    • ‘I mean the questions had almost trick answers, you know what I mean, and they were just what I liked doing.’
    • ‘So I tried my next question, which was something of a trick question as I knew the answer.’
    • ‘The second question is a trick question, so I won't answer it.’
    • ‘Do you understand that I will not ask any trick questions on this test?’
    • ‘Or there's some serious trick photography going on.’
    • ‘Let's say you vote for a trick play that ends with a player suffering a serious knee injury.’
    • ‘The answer is normally a halting yes as the voter tries to work out if it is a trick question.’
    • ‘After all these years it still sounds like a trick question.’
    • ‘You don't like to ignore her because that would be rude and, after all, it's not exactly a trick question.’
    • ‘This one will be less ambiguous, and I'll stay away from cryptic clues and trick questions.’
    • ‘It was only as I was slowly talking my way through the question that I realised it was a trick question.’
  • 2North American Liable to fail; defective.

    ‘a trick knee’
    • ‘I had to quietly excuse myself from a Vinyasa class with mutterings of trick knee.’
    • ‘Individuals with minor knee pain, clicking, giving way or a "trick knee" usually are experiencing the earliest symptoms of arthritis.’
    • ‘More than once he'd predicted a storm, rain or otherwise, because his trick knee was acting up or another kind of disaster because his elbows were aching.’
    • ‘Twisting stresses can damage or tear the meniscus, which can cause mechanical symptoms like painful clicking or swelling, the symptoms of a "trick knee".’


  • do the trick

    • informal Achieve the required result.

      • ‘I've had back trouble and if I want to keep playing to the standard I need to take on a physio full time so this is doing the trick for me.’
      • ‘Since conventional medicine wasn't doing the trick, I decided to venture out into the world of ‘alternative.’’
      • ‘Thankfully, a combination of resting the leg and a course of antibiotics seems to be doing the trick.’
      • ‘Ah yes, it must be Labour's student loans policy that is doing the trick.’
      • ‘These young men may not be able to beat their opponents physically, but speed and craft does the trick in achieving results.’
      • ‘Those tax cuts are sure doing the trick, aren't they?’
      • ‘Nuanced arguments obviously are not doing the trick anymore in our media-saturated instant gratification culture.’
      • ‘As with any addiction the more one uses, the more one needs to get off, and my doing these inconspicuous plays was just not doing the trick.’
      • ‘I saw my doctor on Wednesday and got tooled up with some antibiotics, which finally seem to be doing the trick.’
      • ‘A chat and subsequent visit to the vets and he's now on medication which seems to be doing the trick.’
      be effective, work, solve the problem, take care of the problem, achieve the desired result, fill the bill, fit the bill
      View synonyms
  • every trick in the book

    • informal Every available method of achieving what one wants.

      • ‘Although the vast majority of people are law-abiding, it is an unfortunate fact of life that there are some who get up to every trick in the book to take advantage of the good nature or gullibility of others.’
      • ‘In addition to his endurance and overall toughness, he's hard to hit, and knows every trick in the book.’
      • ‘As far as I can determine, we have a one-party rule whose leadership uses every trick in the book to abuse their power by attempting to ignore and completely circumvent laws that do not agree with their views.’
      • ‘She tries every trick in the book to scare him off, from filling his flat with her cosmetics and girlie accessories, to ruining his poker night with the lads, while he is equally determined to pander to her every whim.’
      • ‘My site takes 15 minutes to load and I've tried every trick in the book to fix this.’
      • ‘This is a veteran team, a gang of warriors who know every trick in the book.’
      • ‘It was a session of parliament where the Liberals used every trick in the book to stay in power, while the Tories spent every waking hour mad about something and trying to bring them down.’
      • ‘Her parents tried every trick in the book to get her home and off drugs.’
      • ‘Deception - albeit comparatively benign - also preoccupies campaign managers in the US Presidential campaign at the moment, as they try every trick in the book to cast their man in the right light.’
      • ‘Because now that my oldest daughter, Adrianne, is here, I have three women in the house instead of two, and I'm going to need every trick in the book to keep the Jones women at bay.’
  • how's tricks?

    • informal Used as a friendly greeting.

      ‘“How's tricks in your neck of the woods?”’
      • ‘Well Marty how's tricks at your other sites?’
      • ‘He swung me round as if I were a child. ‘So, how's tricks?’’
      • ‘How's tricks with you where you're working now?’
  • the oldest trick in the book

    • A ruse so hackneyed that it should no longer deceive anyone.

      • ‘Casey decided to pull the oldest trick in the book.’
      • ‘I'd fallen for the oldest trick in the book - Hook, line and sinker.’
      • ‘I can't believe you fell for that-it's the oldest trick in the book!’
      • ‘This is the oldest trick in the book, the ruse to use when all else fails, the last resort of the poor, the desperate, the ticketless and, of course, the professional chancer.’
      • ‘Now, scientific findings suggest that dogs’ chow-time cunning could be the oldest trick in the book - and one the animals mastered on their own.’
      • ‘That's the oldest trick in the book - trying to turn successful women against each other.’
      • ‘What do you think is the oldest trick in the book?’
      • ‘So, he relies on the oldest trick in the book: invent a crisis.’
      • ‘He couldn't think of anything but the oldest trick in the book.’
      • ‘It's the oldest trick in the book and the easiest way of making the evening news.’
  • tricks of the trade

    • Special ingenious techniques used in a profession or craft, especially those that are little known by outsiders.

      • ‘Although not wanting to reveal too many tricks of the trade, he said going up to a person who was causing trouble and asking to speak to them outside was a good way to stop situations happening.’
      • ‘His roots were connected more to music and trade but family tradition from now on seems to be chimneysweeping as his son and son-in-law are now learning the tricks of the trade.’
      • ‘With proper training and experience, a professional will learn the tricks of the trade, and generally get a job done faster and better than a regular Joe would.’
      • ‘When it comes to learning the craft, Morgan doubts the effectiveness of the many music schools popping up, promising the tricks of the trade to young hopefuls.’
      • ‘There were also music workshops, where anyone could turn up, young or old, novice or professional, to be shown tricks of the trade (for a small fee).’
      • ‘Would-be computer hackers can now study the tricks of the trade at university, providing they first sign a pledge agreeing not to break the law with their new skills.’
      • ‘There are a few tricks of the trade with these techniques, and once mastered they make tomato growing a whole lot more satisfying.’
      • ‘Having learned the tricks of the trade from his father, Willie began cutting the turf himself at the tender age of 16 and eventually took over the responsibility from his dad.’
      • ‘To succeed in blogging you need to understand it's a craft, with its own tricks of the trade.’
      • ‘The concert will see them performing ‘up-close’ where Steve and Phil interact with the audience with a mix of anecdotes, tricks of the trade and songs old and new.’
  • turn a trick

    • informal (of a prostitute) have a session with a client.

      • ‘‘Once after I turned a trick,’ she said, ‘the man wanted his money back.’’
      • ‘If she had to turn a trick here or there, she would do it.’
      • ‘She knows there are risks in this, but feels it is safer than walking the streets and turning a trick with a stranger.’
      • ‘One professional brazenly characterised himself (and by implication the wider profession) as an architectural whore, ever willing to turn a trick.’
      • ‘In a seamy storyline, she tries to badger her now-clean brother, Chris, into turning a trick with her in order to earn drug money.’
      • ‘We saw her puke once in the doorway across the street, and then five minutes later she turned a trick.’
  • up to one's (old) tricks

    • informal Misbehaving in a characteristic way.

      • ‘‘Could it be,’ asks Lewis, ‘that the statisticians are up to their tricks again and are overestimating the price falls that are actually occurring?’’
      • ‘Now the council are saying that I've been up to my old tricks again and that I've turned this place into a tip.’
      • ‘I wonder if these companies are up to their old tricks?’
      • ‘So the little chap, helped by his obliging Washington buddies, is up to his old tricks again.’
      • ‘It appears that the Devil is up to his old tricks again.’
      • ‘It couldn't last, of course, and no sooner had the blockades been called off than they were up to their old tricks of putting up the prices while they thought nobody was looking.’
      • ‘After the 1997 handover, the western imperialists were up to their tricks.’
      • ‘But, Algernon is definitely up to his tricks again today, even though I haven't seen him.’
      • ‘The evidence is that Denis is up to his old tricks.’
      • ‘Mr Gray said: ‘It is an utter disgrace, and shows Labour are still up to their old tricks of spinning.’’

Phrasal Verbs

  • trick someone/something out (or up)

    • Dress or decorate someone or something in an elaborate or showy way.

      ‘a Marine tricked out in World War II kit and weaponry’
      • ‘Even the takeout menu is tricked out with red old-West lettering, flames and stars.’
      • ‘She's tricked him out with some brass plates (for added weight) and pipe-cleaner antenna (for extra cuteness).’
      • ‘And the impressively imagined world of the novel is tricked out in lively prose.’
      • ‘More than a few high-end realtors and home sellers are tricking out their prized properties with security cameras, in hopes of catching thieves and scammers who have been hitting open houses lately.’
      • ‘It was a little hard to drive because they'd tricked it up with so many things that it was too heavy and the suspension wasn't very good and the brakes didn't work half the time.’
      • ‘They don't just set up their courses, they trick them up and too often they career over the line between what is tough and what is unreasonable.’
      • ‘It's a large, spacious room tricked out in pale, overwhelmingly summery colours.’
      • ‘That's not to say that the lads in the lab aren't willing to trick my rig out with new gear; I just usually end up buying my own.’
      • ‘He tricked it out, painted it black, added exhaust pipes behind the passenger seats and gave it its sleek look.’
      • ‘I tricked it out with the little hanging stars in the corners.’
      dress, dress up, array, attire, rig out, garb, get up
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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 century.