Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Informal unethical or illegal tactics, specif., such tactics used to discredit, harass, etc. one's political opponents
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
plural noun InformalThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- Covert intelligence operations designed to disrupt the economy or upset the political situation in another country.
- Unethical behavior, especially acts undertaken to destroy the credibility or reputation of an opponent.
- Commercial espionage.
- dirty trickster noun
dirty tricks - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Undercover or clandestine operations and deceitful stratagems in politics and espionage. For example, This campaign has been dominated by the dirty tricks of both sides. The adjective dirty here is used in the sense of “unethical” or “unfair.” The term originally was applied to covert intelligence operations carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose planning directorate was nicknamed “department of dirty tricks.” It later was extended to underhanded activity intended to undermine political opponents and commercial rivals. [1940s]