From trick +‎ -y.


  • IPA(key): /tɹɪki/
  • (file)


tricky (comparative trickier, superlative trickiest)

  1. hard to deal with, complicated
    They were in a tricky situation.
    • 1964 September, “News: Fewer diesels for NER in 1965”, in Modern Railways, page 201:
      Several types of diesel locomotive have been tested on this working and as a result the probable choice will be Type 2 diesels in pairs, without bankers. The crucial factor in the selection of this method is the higher degree of adhesion obtained than with a single Type 4; on trial one of the latter showed that in very adverse conditions it might slip to a standstill at one of the two tricky spots on the steep climb from Tyne Dock to Consett.
    • 2012 September 15, Amy Lawrence, “Arsenal's Gervinho enjoys the joy of six against lowly Southampton”, in the Guardian[1]:
      It was as comfortable an afternoon as Arsène Wenger could have wished for in a situation that can be tricky in between internationals and the upcoming Champions League.
  2. adept at using deception
    A tricky salesman can sell anything.
  3. (colloquial, slang) Relating to or associated with a prostitution trick
    I don't want any of your tricky money, thank you!

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

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