a sleight-of-hand swindling game resembling thimblerig but employing walnut shells or the like instead of thimblelike cups.
any deceit, swindle, fraud, or the like.
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- shelikof strait,
- shell back,
- shell bean,
- shell company,
- shell gland,
- shell jacket,
- shell out,
- shell pink,
- shell program
Origin of shell game
An Americanism dating back to 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for shell game
the US name for thimblerig
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