Definition of sleight of hand in US English:

sleight of hand

phrase

literary
  • 1Manual dexterity, typically in performing tricks.

    ‘a nifty bit of sleight of hand got the ashtray into the correct position’
    • ‘It's like the stage business that distracts the audience while the magician does his sleight of hand trick.’
    • ‘Understanding how your audience thinks is the key to a great response to a trick, not the sleight of hand, he says.’
    • ‘What these powers were I, of course, know as little as anyone else, but they certainly were far exalted above the vulgar sleight of hand and tricks of ordinary so-called magicians.’
    • ‘After my first success I became intensely interested and gave up the sleight of hand and conjuring work I had been doing.’
    • ‘And that's what I've always believed in myself, and that it was not really as much about the tricks or the sleight of hand as it was the person doing it.’
    • ‘You can't reveal their hidden microphones or mimic their tricks with sleight of hand.’
    • ‘There is every chance that he performed a little sleight of hand and other conjuring.’
    • ‘As any student of the paranormal will tell you, deceivers and sleight - of - hand merchants need lashings of data from which to pick and choose.’
    • ‘These people are magicians - expert architects of enjoyment - performing incredible sleights of hand.’
    • ‘From the outset of his remarkable career, juggling was ‘something that marked me’, a special ability of sleight of hand in which dexterity is the fundamental attribute.’
    dexterity, adroitness, deftness, nimbleness of fingers, skill
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    1. 1.1 Skillful deception.
      ‘this is financial sleight of hand of the worst sort’
      • ‘This is a gang whose members are masters of subterfuge and sleight of hand, and they play for big money, jewels, banks and other high-security projects.’
      • ‘He freely admitted that magic depended on deception and sleight of hand but said: ‘Origami is real magic!’’
      • ‘But the reality is that those in charge of making the changes are too busy courting the corporations and wealthy individuals who benefit most from their anti-democratic sleights of hand.’
      • ‘One of the most startling public acts of deception and sleight of hand has been undertaken by the provincial government.’
      • ‘Instead, they feature constant sleights of hand, bouts of opportunism, inventive trickery’ .’
      • ‘However, people of the present day are getting more enlightened; and although they see something done beyond their ken, yet they know it is only a piece of deception or sleight of hand on the part of the performers.’
      • ‘Deceit is not lying: it is more sleight of hand, or, if you prefer, the small con.’
      • ‘Such statistical sleights of hand (described by Lomborg as ‘a statistical finesse’) are obviously nothing new, and their use has certainly not been restricted to environmentalists.’
      • ‘But this argument is too important for sleights of hand.’
      • ‘But whether the $40bn is merely another double-counting sleight - of-hand exercise or a genuine boost remains to be seen.’
      deception, deceit, dissimulation, double-dealing, chicanery, trickery, sharp practice, legerdemain
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Pronunciation

sleight of hand

/ˌslīd əv ˈhand//ˌslaɪd əv ˈhænd/