Dictionary.com

thimblerig

[ thim-buhl-rig ]
/ ˈθɪm bəlˌrɪg /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: thimblerig / thimblerigging on Thesaurus.com

noun

a sleight-of-hand swindling game in which the operator palms a pellet or pea while appearing to cover it with one of three thimblelike cups, and then, moving the cups about, offers to bet that no one can tell under which cup the pellet or pea lies.

verb (used with object), thim·ble·rigged, thim·ble·rig·ging.

to cheat by or as by the thimblerig.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "EVOKE" VS. "INVOKE"!

Call upon your favorite grammar inspirations to tackle this quiz on the differences and uses of "evoke" and "invoke."
Question 1 of 7
“Evoke” and “invoke” both derive from the same Latin root “vocāre.”

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of thimblerig

First recorded in 1815–25; thimble + rig (in a British sense “a swindle, fraud”)

OTHER WORDS FROM thimblerig

thim·ble·rig·ger, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use thimblerig in a sentence

  • The real name of this man Crockett never told, but assigned to him the nickname “Thimblerig.”

  • A Tory told me it was a second edition of the thimblerig speech, which, if so, will not do him good.

    The Greville Memoirs|Charles C. F. Greville
  • How terribly alike are all human rogueries, whether the scene be a conference at Vienna, or the tent of a thimblerig at Ascot!

    The Fortunes Of Glencore|Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for thimblerig

thimblerig
/ (ˈθɪmbəlˌrɪɡ) /

noun

a game in which the operator rapidly moves about three inverted thimbles, often with sleight of hand, one of which conceals a token, the other player betting on which thimble the token is under

verb -rigs, -rigging or -rigged

(tr) to cheat or swindle, as in this game

Derived forms of thimblerig

thimblerigger, noun

Word Origin for thimblerig

C19: from thimble + rig (in obsolete sense: a trick, scheme)
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
FEEDBACK