A Dictionary of the English Language
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Trick (noun)

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2096

Trick. n.s. [treck, Dutch.]

  1. A sly fraud.

    Sir Thomas Moor said, that a trick of law had no less power than the wheel of fortune, to lift men up, or cast them down. Raleigh.

    A bantering droll took a journey to Delphos, to try if he could put a trick upon Apollo. L'Estrange's Fables.

    Such a one thinks to find some shelter in my friendship, and I betray him: he comes to me for counsel and I shew him a trick. South.

    He swore by Stix,
    Whate'er she wou'd desire, to grant;
    But wise Ardelia knew his tricks.

  2. A dexterous artifice.

    Gather the lowest and leaving the top,
    Shall teach thee a trick for to double thy crop.

    And now, as oft in some distemper'd state,
    On one nice trick depends the gen'ral fate.

  3. A vicious practice.

    Suspicion shall be stuck full of eyes:
    For treason is but trusted like a fox,
    Who ne'er so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd up,
    Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.

    I entertain you with somewhat more worthy than the stale exploded trick of fulsom panegyricks. Dryden.

    Some friends to vice pretend,
    That I the tricks of youth too roughly blame.

  4. A juggle; an antick; any thing done to cheat jocosely, or to divert.

    A rev'rend prelate stopp'd his coach and six,
    To laugh a little at our Andrew's tricks.

  5. An unexpected effect.

    So fellest foes who broke their sleep,
    To take the one the other, by some chance,
    Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends.
    Shakesp. Coriolanus.

  6. A practice; a manner; a habit.

    I spoke it but according to the trick: if you'll hang me you may. Shakespeare.

    The trick of that voice I well remember. Shakespeare.

    Although the print be little, the whole matter
    And copy of the father; eye, nose, lip,
    The trick of 's frown, his forehead.
    Shak. Winter's Tale.

  7. A number of cards laid regularly up in play: as, a trick of cards.

Sources: Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 (46) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (39) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · South, Robert (158) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Tusser, Thomas (25) · Shakespeare's Winter's Tale (43)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Trick (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: October 31, 2011. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/trick-noun/.

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