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[lej-er-duh-meyn] /ˌlɛdʒ ər dəˈmeɪn/
sleight of hand.
trickery; deception.
any artful trick.
Origin of legerdemain
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English legerdemeyn, lygarde de mayne < Middle French: literally, light of hand
Related forms
legerdemainist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for legerdemain
  • Nobody writing today has his bag of literary tricks and can produce them with such effortless legerdemain.
  • Even in retrospect the outcome seems a bit of legerdemain.
  • The concept of a business model for open-source software is a contradictory feat of legerdemain.
  • The manner in which such properties are snapped up makes one think legerdemain is employed.
  • Either way, no amount of legerdemain will stop the computer mouse's inevitable scuttle down the long tail of oblivion.
  • The point is the raw materials, not a saucier's legerdemain.
  • He's done it with equal doses of courage and legerdemain.
  • She drew the shades, though not so completely as absolutely to forestall legerdemain.
  • But their accounting legerdemain typically has the desired effect for only brief periods.
  • But such changes are nothing more than the artist's legerdemain.
British Dictionary definitions for legerdemain


another name for sleight of hand
cunning deception or trickery
Derived Forms
legerdemainist, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French: light of hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for legerdemain

one who performs magic tricks

Word Origin

French 'light of hand''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for legerdemain

early 15c., "conjuring tricks," from Middle French léger de main "quick of hand," literally "light of hand," from léger "light" in weight (from Latin levis "light;" see lever) + main "hand" (from Latin manus; see manual).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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