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skin game

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a dishonest or unscrupulous business operation, scheme, etc.
  2. any cheating or fraudulent trick.

Origin of skin game

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for skin game

Historical Examples

  • I suppose it's some parental promise she's made, or some skin-game buyer has been through here and threw a wrench in the gears.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • And because grafters, shilabers, and skin-game artists follow circuses, the public thinks these are a part of it.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • The skin-game artists and shilabers, cheaters, flimflammers, and medicine men flock to these gatherings as flies to a picnic.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • Ye tried to kill a thousand-dollar bird by a skin-game, and I'll have it out of your hide.


British Dictionary definitions for skin game

skin game

noun
  1. slang a swindling trick
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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