sleight of hand

noun phrase

1
a
: a cleverly executed trick or deception
b
: a conjuring trick requiring manual dexterity
2
a
: skill and dexterity in conjuring tricks
b
: adroitness in deception

Examples of sleight of hand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But defense attorneys say prosecutors knew which cases Jones would help them with and that claiming otherwise in court was a convenient and disingenuous sleight of hand. The Enquirer, 21 Mar. 2024 The bill’s primary mechanic — setting up a choice for TikTok that could lead to a ban — is really a sleight of hand that courts will see through instantly, according to First Amendment experts. Brian Fung, CNN, 8 Mar. 2024 On a mild springlike evening the string of amber orbs appeared as if by magic, a celestial sleight of hand that would in the coming weeks make headlines across the nation. Laura Daniella Sepulveda, The Arizona Republic, 17 Feb. 2024 His sleight of hand is his ability to cloak even his bleakest moments in uplift or a hook. Owen Myers, EW.com, 8 July 2023 In the view of critics, that success is more like sleight of hand. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Feb. 2024 But self-checkout sleights of hand are having a real impact on retailers, with Walmart, Costco, and Wegmans are cutting down on kiosks, citing intentional shoplifting as reason for doing so. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2024 That mathematical sleight of hand meant that eCash was provably secure. Andy Greenberg, Ars Technica, 18 Jan. 2024 Calabresi’s hand-wringing on Thomas’ behalf also engages in sleight of hand. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sleight of hand.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sleight of hand was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near sleight of hand

Cite this Entry

“Sleight of hand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sleight%20of%20hand. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sleight of hand

1
: skill especially in juggling or magic tricks
2
: a magic or juggling trick requiring skill with the hands
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