sleight of hand

See synonyms for sleight of hand on
  1. skill in feats requiring quick and clever movements of the hands, especially for entertainment or deception, as jugglery, card or coin magic, etc.; legerdemain.

  2. the performance of such feats.

  1. a feat of legerdemain.

  2. skill in deception.

Origin of sleight of hand

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400

Words Nearby sleight of hand Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sleight of hand in a sentence

  • Just think: after five years of desertion, and trouble without end, and it all put right by a little sleight-of-hand.

  • He shot out his hand and produced his watch with the celerity of a sleight-of-hand performer.

    The Winning Clue | James Hay, Jr.
  • Nature fills her baskets by the same sleight-of-hand, and the observer must be on the alert who would possess her secret.

    A Year in the Fields | John Burroughs
  • Need you be surprised then, that a sleight-of-hand man, a manipulator of goblets, requires accomplices?

British Dictionary definitions for sleight of hand

sleight of hand

  1. manual dexterity used in performing conjuring tricks

  2. the performance of such tricks

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with sleight of hand

sleight of hand

Trickery, deviousness, as in By some sleight of hand they managed to overlook all bonuses. This term alludes to the performance of magic tricks with the hands. Its figurative use dates from about 1700.

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