One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Skilful use of one's hands when performing conjuring tricks.
sleight of hand, juggling, conjuring, magic, prestidigitation, wizardry, illusion, dexterityView synonyms
- ‘Readers are invited to imagine how Copperfield will pull off this magic coup, but we reckon it will involve a couple of balls, a cup and plenty of legerdemain.’
- ‘Much to the satisfaction of legitimate entertainers, the book also expresses respect for the art of legerdemain, which it discusses using that very term.’
- ‘There were fine nuggets of legerdemain, courtesy of the illusionist Paul Kieve.’
- 1.1 Deception; trickery.‘a classic piece of management legerdemain’
trickery, cunning, artfulness, craftiness, craft, wiles, chicanery, skulduggery, deceit, deception, artifice, cheating, dissimulation, double-dealing, artful argument, specious reasoning, sophistry, humbug, flimflamView synonyms
- ‘In the year since Tyco was hit with charges of accounting legerdemain, the company kept making acquisitions, though it completed fewer big ones.’
- ‘Zusi, who was not deposed for trial, denies that he ever made such threats or encouraged anyone to use accounting legerdemain to manage earnings.’
- ‘Stripped to its essentials, her endeavor bestows a constitutional benediction upon the intellectual legerdemain that enables universities to practice racial discrimination.’
- ‘The target of the latter piece of legislative legerdemain is the Free Software movement itself.’
- ‘The latter is the insidious inflation dodge, a piece of legerdemain that governments have been using over centuries to take bigger and bigger bites of your property.’
- ‘Convincing voter-taxpayers that they should pay for something available for free naturally requires some political legerdemain.’
- ‘When that logic is exposed, as in this case, as intellectual legerdemain, he retreats to pitiful, pleading casuistry.’
- ‘In some circles, ethics experts are infamous for just this kind of psychological legerdemain.’
- ‘And the consequence of this ill-considered commitment seems to have been the introduction of various fast-track schemes, corner cutting on entry visa requirements and other acts of legerdemain.’
- ‘What was the point of this sophisticated legerdemain with Ray's aliases?’
Late Middle English: from French léger de main ‘dexterous’, literally ‘light of hand’.
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