Definition of legerdemain in English:

legerdemain

noun

mass noun
  • 1Skilful use of one's hands when performing conjuring tricks.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    sleight of hand, juggling, conjuring, magic, prestidigitation, wizardry, illusion, dexterity
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    1. 1.1 Deception; trickery.
      ‘a classic piece of management legerdemain’
      • ‘The target of the latter piece of legislative legerdemain is the Free Software movement itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Stripped to its essentials, her endeavor bestows a constitutional benediction upon the intellectual legerdemain that enables universities to practice racial discrimination.’
      • ‘Convincing voter-taxpayers that they should pay for something available for free naturally requires some political legerdemain.’
      • ‘In the year since Tyco was hit with charges of accounting legerdemain, the company kept making acquisitions, though it completed fewer big ones.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What was the point of this sophisticated legerdemain with Ray's aliases?’
      • ‘Zusi, who was not deposed for trial, denies that he ever made such threats or encouraged anyone to use accounting legerdemain to manage earnings.’
      • ‘In some circles, ethics experts are infamous for just this kind of psychological legerdemain.’
      • ‘When that logic is exposed, as in this case, as intellectual legerdemain, he retreats to pitiful, pleading casuistry.’
      trickery, cunning, artfulness, craftiness, craft, wiles, chicanery, skulduggery, deceit, deception, artifice, cheating, dissimulation, double-dealing, artful argument, specious reasoning, sophistry, humbug, flimflam
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Origin

Late Middle English: from French léger de main ‘dexterous’, literally ‘light of hand’.

Pronunciation

legerdemain

/ˌlɛdʒədɪˈmeɪn/