skin game


noun

a dishonest or unscrupulous business operation, scheme, etc.
any cheating or fraudulent trick.

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Origin of skin game

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for skin game

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for skin game

skin game

noun

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