skill in feats requiring quick and clever movements of the hands, especially for entertainment or deception, as jugglery, card or coin magic, etc.; legerdemain.
the performance of such feats.
a feat of legerdemain.
skill in deception.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sleight of hand in a sentence
Like any good suspense novelist, Shields is a master of evasion and sleight-of-hand.
Catching Fire perpetuates an ideological vision that, today, is a sleight-of-hand.
This option creates bad optics as well, because it looks like the old pork-barrel log rolling and legislative sleight-of-hand.To Be or Not To Be…A Loser: Boehner’s Hamlet Moment | Joe McLean | October 4, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the smoke and mirrors of the fashion world, Wang is an expert at sleight-of-hand.Can Alexander Wang Sell Street Style At Balenciaga? | Robin Givhan | November 30, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The old sleight-of-hand expert had stolen it, sure, and slipped it under his robe.A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Complete | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Just think: after five years of desertion, and trouble without end, and it all put right by a little sleight-of-hand.You Never Know Your Luck, Complete | Gilbert Parker
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?Brother Jacques (Novels of Paul de Kock, Volume XVII) | Charles Paul de Kock
British Dictionary definitions for sleight of hand
manual dexterity used in performing conjuring tricks
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
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.