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sharp practice

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Crafty or deceitful dealings, especially in business. For example, That firm's known for its sharp practice, so I'd rather not deal with them. This expression, first recorded in 1836, uses sharp in the combined sense of “mentally acute” and “cutting.”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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