[shi-key-nuh-ree, chi-]

noun, plural chi·can·er·ies.

trickery or deception by quibbling or sophistry: He resorted to the worst flattery and chicanery to win the job.
a quibble or subterfuge used to trick, deceive, or evade.

Origin of chicanery

From the French word chicanerie, dating back to 1605–15. See chicane, -ery

Synonyms for chicanery Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chicanery

Contemporary Examples of chicanery

Historical Examples of chicanery

  • The placard had indicated the possibility of chicanery on the part of McGuire.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • In a world of chicanery and treachery the sword alone cut clean.

  • A delicate webwork of forgery, bribery, chicanery and falsehood.

    The Misplaced Battleship

    Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)

  • Back in other days, a horse trade was often tinged with fraud and chicanery.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • In that case he must be prepared for her pursuit, her letters, her chicanery, which he could not bear.

    The Art of Disappearing

    John Talbot Smith

British Dictionary definitions for chicanery


noun plural -eries

verbal deception or trickery, esp in legal quibbling; dishonest or sharp practice
a trick, deception, or quibble
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

Word Origin and History for chicanery

c.1600, "legal quibbling, sophistry," from French chicanerie "trickery," from Middle French chicaner "to pettifog, quibble" (15c.), of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Low German schikken "to arrange, bring about," or from the name of a golf-like game once played in Languedoc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper