Word of the Day

Sunday, April 02, 2000


\shih-KAY-nuh-ree\ , noun;
The use of trickery or sophistry to deceive (as in matters of law).
A trick; a subterfuge.
Wordsworth's paternal grandfather, Richard, had first come to Westmorland from South Yorkshire in 1700, to recoup his fortunes with the then baron Lonsdale, having been done out of his fortune by his own guardian's chicanery.
-- Kenneth R. Johnston, The Hidden Wordsworth
True, Gramm-Rudman's deficit targets were often met only by chicanery -- by anticipating revenues and moving expenses off-budget.
-- David Frum, "Righter Than Newt", The Atlantic, March 1995
What is more, it can be deliberately adulterated by the farmer with sand, tree sap or ash, although a trained opium buyer can spot these tricks and few farmers dare resort to such chicanery.
-- Martin Booth, Opium: A History
Chicanery comes from French chicaner, "to quibble, to use tricks," perhaps from Middle Low German schicken, "to arrange," with the sense "to arrange to one's own advantage."
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