Definition of chicane
- a wretch he had taught to lie and chicane
- —George Meredith
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
a lawyer who is so notorious for chicaning that the guilty invariably seek his services
There's no mystery about the origins of chicane. It's from the Middle French verb chicaner, meaning "to quibble" or "to prevent justice," and print evidence of its use as a verb in English dates to around 1672. The noun form of chicane was first used in print in 1686. In addition to referring to "trickery," the noun chicane is used to refer to an obstacle or a series of tight turns in opposite directions on a racecourse. In card games, chicane refers to the absence of trumps in a hand of cards. One curiosity of this word set is that the word that would appear to be a derivative of chicane-chicanery (a synonym of chicane in its "trickery" sense)-actually appeared in English over 60 years before chicane.
First Known Use: circa 1672See Words from the same year
most get-rich-quick schemes involve more than a smidgen of chicane
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chicane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
artfulness, caginess (also cageyness), craftiness, cunning, deviousness, foxiness, oiliness, shadiness, sharpness, shiftiness, shrewdness, slickness, slipperiness, slyness, sneakiness, treachery, underhandedness, wiliness;
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having a quality expressive of sadness
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