The sentence I am trying to use this in:

Hopefully, having understood the terms above will have also tricked you into a better understanding of [irrelevant and arbitrary complex subject]"

The article I'm writing is somewhat inspired by the Randy Pausch's Last Lecture and the concept of Head-Fake teaching:

The second kind of head fake is the really important one— the one that teaches people things they don't realize they're learning until well into the process. If you're a head-fake specialist, your hidden objective is to get them to learn something you want them to learn.

Lecture Transcript

I am looking to replace the word tricked above with a different one. But most Synonym searches I've found result in words with negative connotation.

I can use either a single word substitution (preferred), or a multi-word phrase that conveys the same meaning. Specifically that the reader was "tricked" into learning one thing, when they thought they were learning simpler thing. But I don't want to convey negative intention like scammed or duped, etc.

  • It is hoped, not hopefully, in good, formal writing. The word you need is / cajoled you into etc./
    – Lambie
    Jun 6, 2020 at 16:26
  • 1
    I would suggest "guided".
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 6, 2020 at 16:27

5 Answers 5


Hopefully, having understood the terms above will have also led you into a better understanding of [irrelevant and arbitrary complex subject]


Hopefully, having understood the terms above will have also guided you into a better understanding of [irrelevant and arbitrary complex subject]

  • I looked up the blog article I asked this question about, and this entire time it has remained "tricked you.". Thank you for your answer, I've finally updated the article. I ended up going with "led you". Thanks again!
    – Eddie
    Jun 6, 2020 at 23:44
  • 1
    Hi @Eddie , I'm glad this helped. Wishing you all the best for your blog! Jun 7, 2020 at 1:22


It can mean to influence by charm or by deception.



maneuver in the sense of: 3. To manipulate into a desired position or toward a predetermined goal:

maneuvered him into signing the contract.

Similarly there is a sense of seduce which also fits. See: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/seduce To ​persuade or ​cause someone to do something that they would not usually ​consider doing by being very ​attractive and ​difficult to ​refuse:

I wouldn't ​normally ​stay in a ​hotel like this, but I was seduced by the ​fabulous ​location.

They were seduced into ​buying the ​washing ​machine by the ​offer of a ​free ​flight.

  • No, you would never say ,maneuvered you into here. Poor usage.
    – Lambie
    Jun 6, 2020 at 16:27

In writing fiction, especially speculative fiction (ie fantasy, horror, science fiction etc) but definitely in all fiction, you want the reader to go through a "willing suspension of disbelief" ie, they know they're reading a lie, a fiction constructed to tell a story... but it pulls them in, hook line and sinker, so that they actually believe they're in the story, like they are actually experiencing the events instead of just reading about them. The Christopher Nolan movies The Prestige and Inception especially are all about making movies, which is essentially books in audio-visual form (at it's core). Hence so many movies made from books (and usually considered an inferior adaptation because they cut so much and change so much). The Dark Knight also convinces you to suspend your rational disbelief. For instance, Heath Ledger's Joker performance was so good, the second he's on stage, you forget that it's him (and the whole suicide thing). You get absorbed into the story, with no choice in the matter. That's how good storytelling works, and it's not the easiest thing to pull off. But when it works, it works REALLY well. The viewer forgets they're watching a movie, the reader forgets they're reading a book, and just really gets into the narrative.

This is what trickery means in your sense. Trickery and all other variations except (I would imagine (I will NOT apologise for the pun :p)) are negative, but stories are the exception.

You know a magic trick is a lie. But you want to be amazed. You want to ignore the truth, and just for an instant, believe that the impossible just happened. That is when an idea, be it a story or a concept in a textbook, transcends the real (or at least the proven) and becomes a Truth.


Hopefully, your having understood the terms above will have also persuaded you into a better understanding of ... -- 1904 J. Conrad Nostromo viii Hirsch could not be spoken to, reasoned with, or persuaded into a rational line of conduct.

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