dirty trick


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

dirty trick

An action used for one's benefit that is unethical or dishonest. Every election cycle, the competing candidates always accuse each other of dirty tricks. I really wish you had been honest with me from the start about causing damage to my car. Blaming the neighbor was a real dirty trick.
See also: dirty, trick

dirty tricks

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]
See also: dirty, trick

dirty tricks

Covert, deceitful, and damaging policies and actions. The term dates from the later 1600s and was long used simply to describe a nasty action, as in “When no one was looking Jim grabbed the last decent sleeping bag; that was a dirty trick.” However, it acquired a new meaning during the 1960s when it was applied to the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was even called “Department of Dirty Tricks” for some of its propaganda and secret interventions in other countries’ affairs. In the 1970s it began to be applied to the unethical and even illegal tactics of political campaigns, such as smearing an opponent with false accusations, illicitly using campaign funds, and the like.
See also: dirty, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
This year, Congress should take strong action to prevent the dirty tricks before they occur.
But the circulation of accurate material about another candidate is not a dirty trick even if it is on videotape.
He must wonder if it's all a dirty trick designed to spike his chances of ever leading the Tories out of the pit.
New Delhi, Jan 15 ( ANI ): Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh has termed that the black ink attack on yoga guru Baba Ramdev was a 'dirty trick' of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"It's a low down dirty trick but there's nothing to stop them."
He added: 'Spearmint Rhino is concerned about dirty tricks. I am not suggesting it is a dirty trick but this happens more in England than the US.
They have indulged in every dirty trick in the book and Golota's sparring partners have been ordered to stand on his toes, put their thumb in his eye and try to wrench his shoulders from their sockets - all the niceties of the noble art commonly practised by Tyson.
This is a dirty trick and shows how terrified Labour is that I will win.'
ELECTION trails and dirty trick campaigns have always gone hand in hand in the world of politics.
Political dirty tricks' not a crime, Madigan's lawyers argue
Summary: New Delhi [India], Jun 22 (ANI): Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stating that the "dirty tricks department" of the party is out to derail the educational reforms in Delhi.
But when dirty tricks make fun of a serious issue such as the measles outbreak, then I have to condemn it as heartless and reckless.
Not even few hours have passed, but BJP/RSS dirty tricks department is at work in full swing," Sharmistha lashed out on Twitter as she shared the two pictures.
He accused the DAP of putting up the offensive billboards and banners as part of its dirty tricks.
It seems Sinn Fein have been first off the mark when it comes to the dirty tricks department but they've had decades of practice.