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sleight of hand

skill in feats requiring quick and clever movements of the hands, especially for entertainment or deception, as jugglery, card or coin magic, etc.; legerdemain.
the performance of such feats.
a feat of legerdemain.
skill in deception.
Origin of sleight of hand
1350-1400; Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sleight-of-hand
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So the homestead loan business became a sleight-of-hand performance.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • I asked him how he accounted for this wonderful display of sleight-of-hand.

  • She never could see how they did it; and Joe insisted that it was "sleight-of-hand," he having learned magic in China.

    The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • He may be an illusionist pure and simple and does not indulge in sleight-of-hand at all.

    Indian Conjuring L. H. Branson
  • It's a simple little trick of sleight-of-hand, one of many which I have in my bag.

  • It may be, that, as you would suspect, even this might be sleight-of-hand.

    Gerald Fitzgerald Charles James Lever
  • As a priest, Moses was no doubt initiated into all the arts of these sleight-of-hand impostors.

    Religion In The Heavens Logan Mitchell
British Dictionary definitions for sleight-of-hand

sleight of hand

manual dexterity used in performing conjuring tricks
the performance of such tricks
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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Idioms and Phrases with sleight-of-hand

sleight of hand

Trickery, deviousness, as in By some sleight of hand they managed to overlook all bonuses. This term alludes to the performance of magic tricks with the hands. Its figurative use dates from about 1700.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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