\ ˈslīt How to pronounce sleight (audio) \

Definition of sleight

1 : deceitful craftiness also : stratagem

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Examples of sleight in a Sentence

must have employed some sophisticated sleight to con that wary couple out of their money a brilliant new theory that pays tribute to his remarkable sleight of mind

Recent Examples on the Web

This underground sleight-of-literary-hand, amazingly, was accomplished in just 18 days, and most of the accomplices were severely punished for their stunt. Sue Gilmore, The Mercury News, "Fake news makes fools of Nazis in E.R. Ramzipoor’s ‘The Ventriloquists’," 13 Aug. 2019 Through some magical sleight of hand — sleight of taste bud? Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Beer and Ninja Turtles, a refreshing Comic-Con combo," 18 July 2019 Reed-Brown performs sleight-of-hand tricks while walking among them in this circa 1896 house., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 15 July 2019 Harris’s LIFT Act features a sleight of sorts in language—its full name is the LIFT the Middle Class Act, although many of its benefits would go to those struggling to get into the middle class. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "Democrats’ Cautious Return to the War on Poverty," 30 June 2019 By placing viewers in what, for most of us, will be unfamiliar terrain – rural, 19th-century Vietnam – Mayfair pulls off a deft sleight-of-hand. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘The Third Wife’ is a story told with deft, lush strokes," 27 June 2019 There’s also some dramatic sleight-of-hand regarding a major subplot, concerning the revelation that Katherine is having an affair with one of her young male writers, Charlie (Hugh Dancy). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Late Night,” Reviewed: Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling’s Incisive Comedy about the Gender Politics of TV," 6 June 2019 Widely revered by his peers as the best pickpocket in the world, Robbins confines his gifts to the right side of the law, working as a sleight-of-hand artist, entertainer, speaker, security consultant, and all-around expert in the arts of deception. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The World’s Best Pickpocket Reviews The Ocean’s 8 Heist," 13 June 2018 Simply a bit of good old-fashioned cinematic sleight-of-hand. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte stars in summer's most groundbreaking film. Recognize any of the locations?," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sleight

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sleight

Middle English, from Old Norse slœgth, from slœgr sly — more at sly

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Statistics for sleight

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for sleight

The first known use of sleight was in the 14th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on sleight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sleight

Nglish: Translation of sleight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sleight for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sleight

What made you want to look up sleight? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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