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[slahyt] /slaɪt/
skill; dexterity.
an artifice; stratagem.
cunning; craft.
Origin of sleight
early Middle English
1225-75; Middle English; early Middle English slēgth < Old Norse slǣgth. See sly, -th1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sleight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I got it out of him, by sleight of hand—where we had met before.

    The Coast of Chance Esther Chamberlain
  • That was one of the miracles we asked you the sleight of, and are you going to say nothing about that?

    Imaginary Interviews W. D. Howells
  • The treatises on sleight of hand give the method of executing this trick.

    The Sharper Detected and Exposed Jean-Eugne Robert-Houdin
  • Of course, there are tricks of sleight of hand by which the conclusion is evaded.

    'I Believe' and other essays Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • Yet in these seeming miracles there is nothing of "black art" or sleight of hand.

    History of California Helen Elliott Bandini
British Dictionary definitions for sleight


noun (archaic)
skill; dexterity See also sleight of hand
a trick or stratagem
cunning; trickery
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse slægth, from slægrsly
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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Word Origin and History for sleight

"cunning," early 14c. alteration of sleahthe (c.1200), from Old Norse sloegð "cleverness, cunning, slyness," from sloegr (see sly). Meaning "skill, cleverness, dexterity" is from late 14c. Meaning "feat or trick requiring quickness and nimbleness of the hands" is from 1590s. Term sleight of hand is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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