Dictionary

shell game

shell game

noun

: a dishonest betting game in which someone hides a ball under one of three cups or shells, moves the cups or shells around quickly, and asks an observer to guess which one the ball is under

Full Definition of SHELL GAME

1
:  thimblerig played especially with three walnut shells
2
:  fraud; especially :  a swindle involving the substitution of something of little or no value for a valuable item

Examples of SHELL GAME

  1. <it's amazing how intelligent people fall for that investment-fund shell game>

First Known Use of SHELL GAME

1890

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: shell gingerPrevious Word in the Dictionary: shellflowerAll Words Near: shell game
March 05, 2015
ilk Hear it
Sort or kind
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears