an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.
a concealed, usually devious aspect or feature of something, as a plan or deal: An offer that good must have a gimmick in it somewhere.
a hidden mechanical device by which a magician works a trick or a gambler controls a game of chance.
Electronics Informal. a capacitor formed by intertwining two insulated wires.
verb (used with object)
to equip or embellish with unnecessary features, especially in order to increase salability, acceptance, etc. (often followed by up ): to gimmick up a sports car with chrome and racing stripes.
verb (used without object)
to resort to gimmickry, especially habitually.

1925–30, Americanism; origin uncertain

gimmicker, noun
gimmicky, adjective
ungimmicky, adjective

1. stunt, plan, ruse, ploy; angle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gimmick (ˈɡɪmɪk)
1.  something designed to attract extra attention, interest, or publicity
2.  any clever device, gadget, or stratagem, esp one used to deceive
3.  chiefly (US) a device or trick of legerdemain that enables a magician to deceive the audience
[C20: originally US slang, of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1926 (in Maine & Grant's "Wise-Crack Dictionary," which defines it as "a device used for making a fair game crooked"), Amer.Eng., perhaps an alteration of gimcrack, or an anagram of magic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The theme of today's puzzle is great, and the gimmick made me grin.
If a film needs this type of technological gimmick to be successful it must be
  a pretty bad film.
He told me how he planned to open a small business when he retired in three
  years, one with a fail-safe gimmick.
Perhaps the next macroeconomic gimmick may be distributing tranquilizers in
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