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See more synonyms for sleight on Thesaurus.com
  1. skill; dexterity.
  2. an artifice; stratagem.
  3. cunning; craft.
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Origin of sleight

1225–75; Middle English; early Middle English slēgth < Old Norse slǣgth. See sly, -th1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged 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?

  • 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
  1. skill; dexteritySee also sleight of hand
  2. a trick or stratagem
  3. cunning; trickery
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse slægth, from slægr sly
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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper