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Tricky Definition and Meaning

By Fiza Rafique & Maham Liaqat — Updated on March 6, 2024
Tricky refers to something that is difficult to deal with or understand because it is complicated or problematic. e.g., The puzzle was tricky, but she solved it eventually.

Tricky Definitions

Involving difficulties that are not obvious, requiring care and skill.
The mechanic faced a tricky problem with the old car's engine.
Likely to deceive or mislead; cunning.
The magician's tricks were so tricky that no one could figure them out.
Full of potential hazards or difficulties.
The mountain path is tricky in wet weather, so be careful.
Involving a risk of failure or error.
It's tricky to predict the stock market's movements accurately.
Demanding careful and tactful handling to avoid offense.
Discussing politics at family gatherings can be quite tricky.
Complicated and challenging to understand or solve.
The math equation was particularly tricky for the students.
Requiring precision and skill to achieve a desired outcome.
Landing a plane in such stormy weather is a tricky operation.
Apt to catch or surprise; sly.
The tricky question caught the candidate off guard during the interview.
Requiring careful handling or delicate skill.
Negotiating the contract was a tricky task due to the many stipulations.
Capable of outsmarting or deceiving someone.
The detective dealt with a tricky suspect who kept changing his story.
Given to or characterized by trickery.
Requiring caution or skill
A tricky recipe.
Hard to deal with, complicated
They were in a tricky situation.
Adept at using deception
A tricky salesman can sell anything.
Relating to or associated with a prostitution trick
I don't want any of your tricky money, thank you!
Given to tricks; practicing deception; trickish; knavish.
Not to be trusted;
How extraordinarily slippery a liar the camera is
They called Reagan the teflon president because mud never stuck to him
Having concealed difficulty;
A catchy question
A tricky recipe to follow
Marked by skill in deception;
Cunning men often pass for wise
Deep political machinations
A foxy scheme
A slick evasive answer
Sly as a fox
Tricky Dik
A wily old attorney

Tricky Snonyms


Needing much effort or skill to accomplish, deal with, or understand.
The puzzle was too difficult for the children.


Very complicated or detailed.
The artist's designs are intricate and beautiful.


Difficult to analyze, understand, or explain.
The instructions were too complicated for me to follow.


Consisting of many different and connected parts.
The issue is more complex than it appears at first glance.


Very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality.
The negotiation required a delicate touch.


Testing one's abilities; demanding.
Climbing the mountain was a challenging endeavor.


Full of knots or complications; complex; difficult to solve.
The committee faced a knotty problem.


Constituting or presenting a problem or difficulty.
The software installation is problematic for inexperienced users.


Completely baffling; very puzzling.
The sudden disappearance of the artifact is perplexing.


Causing confusion or perplexity; puzzling.
The case was as puzzling to the detective as it was to us.

Tricky Idioms & Phrases

Tricky subject

A topic that is complex and challenging to discuss or understand.
Quantum physics is a tricky subject for many students.

Tricky customer

Someone who is difficult to deal with or unpredictable.
The salesman found the buyer to be a tricky customer during negotiations.

Tricky situation

A difficult or complicated circumstance.
The sudden budget cuts put the project in a tricky situation.

Tricky business

A task or situation that is complicated and potentially difficult to manage.
Fixing old machinery can be a tricky business without the right tools.

Play a tricky hand

To manage a difficult or challenging situation with skill.
The diplomat played a tricky hand in the peace negotiations.

Get into a tricky spot

To find oneself in a difficult or awkward situation.
I got into a tricky spot when I accidentally double-booked my appointments.

Tricky waters

Situations or circumstances that are complex and fraught with potential problems.
The new policy is navigating through tricky waters in the public debate.

Tricky terrain

A physical or metaphorical area that is difficult to navigate.
The explorers had to cross tricky terrain to reach their destination.

A tricky piece of work

Something that is complicated and requires a lot of effort to complete.
The detailed sculpture was a tricky piece of work, but the artist was up to the challenge.

In a tricky spot

In a situation that is difficult or uncomfortable.
The unexpected question from the audience put the speaker in a tricky spot.

Tricky angle

A perspective or approach that is challenging to understand or execute.
The photographer found a tricky angle that captured the scene perfectly.

Tricky proposition

A plan or idea that is risky or uncertain.
Investing in start-ups can be a tricky proposition due to their high failure rate.

Tricky question

An inquiry that is difficult to answer, often because it is complex or has a hidden catch.
The interview included several tricky questions designed to test the candidates' critical thinking.

Walk a tricky line

To navigate a delicate or precarious situation carefully.
The mediator had to walk a tricky line to keep both parties satisfied.

Tricky maneuver

An action that requires skill and precision to execute successfully.
The pilot performed a tricky maneuver to avoid the storm.

Tricky issue

A problem that is hard to resolve due to its complexity.
Climate change is a tricky issue that requires global cooperation.

Tricky decision

A choice that is hard to make due to competing factors or uncertain outcomes.
Opting for surgery was a tricky decision given the risks involved.

Tricky game

An activity or strategy that involves deception or risk.
Politics can often be a tricky game, with unpredictable outcomes.

Tricky balance

The challenge of maintaining equilibrium between conflicting needs or interests.
Achieving a tricky balance between work and leisure is essential for well-being.

Tricky path

A course of action that is fraught with difficulties or obstacles.
Choosing a career is a tricky path, filled with important decisions.

Tricky Example Sentences

The tricky part of the recipe is getting the temperature just right.
The game involves a tricky set of rules that take time to learn.
The roads were tricky due to the ice and snow.
Finding a solution that pleased everyone proved to be tricky.
His tricky moves on the basketball court impressed everyone.
It was a tricky decision, with pros and cons on both sides.
The tricky situation required immediate and careful attention.
The question seemed simple, but the answer was tricky.
The tricky part of the hike was the steep, slippery slope.
It was tricky to keep the surprise party a secret.
They navigated the tricky negotiations with great skill.
Repairing the old watch was tricky due to its delicate parts.
It was tricky to balance work and personal life effectively.
The puzzle looked easy at first, but it was actually quite tricky.
The tricky weather conditions made sailing challenging.

Common Curiosities

Why is it called tricky?

It is called "tricky" because it describes situations, tasks, or problems that are difficult to deal with or solve, often due to complexity, deceit, or subtlety.

How is tricky used in a sentence?

Tricky is used as an adjective to describe something that is complex or difficult to handle, e.g., Navigating through the old city's narrow streets was tricky.

What is the pronunciation of tricky?

Tricky is pronounced as /ˈtrɪki/.

What is the verb form of tricky?

Tricky does not have a direct verb form as it is an adjective. However, related verbs could include "trick" or "complicate."

How do we divide tricky into syllables?

Tricky is divided into syllables as trick-y.

How many syllables are in tricky?

Tricky has two syllables.

What is a stressed syllable in tricky?

The stressed syllable in tricky is the first syllable: trick.

What is the opposite of tricky?

The opposite of tricky could be "simple" or "straightforward."

Is tricky a noun or adjective?

Tricky is an adjective.

What is the root word of tricky?

The root word of "tricky" is "trick," implying deception or a cunning act.

What is the singular form of tricky?

Tricky is an adjective and does not have singular or plural forms.

What is the plural form of tricky?

As an adjective, tricky does not have a plural form.

Is tricky an abstract noun?

No, tricky is an adjective, not a noun.

Is the word tricky imperative?

No, tricky is an adjective and does not have an imperative form.

Which vowel is used before tricky?

The vowel used before "tricky" depends on the preceding word in a sentence, not on "tricky" itself.

What part of speech is tricky?

Tricky is an adjective.

Is tricky a vowel or consonant?

The word "tricky" starts with a consonant sound made by the letter "T."

Is the tricky term a metaphor?

Tricky can be used metaphorically to describe situations or tasks that are as difficult to navigate as if they were trying to deceive or mislead.

Is the word “tricky” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Tricky is an adjective and does not serve as a direct or indirect object in a sentence.

What is another term for tricky?

Another term for tricky could be "challenging" or "complex."

Is tricky a collective noun?

No, tricky is an adjective and not a noun, so it cannot be a collective noun.

Which determiner is used with tricky?

Determiners like "a," "the," or possessive pronouns can be used with tricky when it modifies a noun, e.g., "a tricky question."

Which article is used with tricky?

The article "a" or "the" can be used with "tricky" when it modifies a singular noun, e.g., "a tricky situation" or "the tricky part."

Is tricky an adverb?

No, tricky is not an adverb; it is an adjective.

Is tricky a negative or positive word?

Tricky generally has a neutral to negative connotation, as it implies difficulty or complexity.

Which preposition is used with tricky?

Prepositions used with "tricky" depend on the context, such as "in," "of," or "to," e.g., "tricky in execution," "tricky part of the process."

Which conjunction is used with tricky?

Conjunctions like "and," "but," or "because" can be used with "tricky" depending on the sentence structure, e.g., "It was tricky, but worth the effort."

Is tricky a countable noun?

Tricky is not a noun; it is an adjective, so the concept of countability does not apply.

Is the word tricky Gerund?

No, tricky is not a gerund; it is an adjective.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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