Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Sleight of hand.
  • noun Deceitful cleverness; trickery.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Sleight of hand; a deceptive performance or trick which depends on dexterity of hand; fallacious adroitness, trickery, or deception generally.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Sleight of hand; a trick of sleight of hand; hence, any artful deception or trick.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Sleight of hand; "magic" trickery
  • noun A show of skill or deceitful ability

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English legerdemayn, from Old French leger de main : leger, light (from Vulgar Latin *leviārius, from Latin levis; see legwh- in Indo-European roots) + de, of (from Latin ; see de–) + main, hand; see mortmain.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French léger de main (literally "light (weight) of hand").

Examples

  • I need hardly add that these cards are specially treated against any kind of legerdemain, which is superfluous in any case since they will be machine-shuffled.

    The Grand Wheel

  • The story of Robert-Houdin’s diplomacy by legerdemain is well-established in magic lore, in large part because it is the only documented instance, at least since antiquity, in which a conjurer changed the course of world affairs.

    Stage magic isn’t statecraft « Isegoria

  • It's the levity that helps to keep us afloat, the magic that gives us lightness of touch -- what the French call legerdemain -- grace under pressure, wonder, and hope.

    Mark Matousek: Life Lessons from Peter Pan

  • Following the strict orders of their donor-masters, and under the guise of the neo-lingo legerdemain, our elected representatives reversed critical legislation that protected us from unfair manipulation of the free markets forces, such as Taft-Hartley Act and other anti-monopoly laws.

    Poli-Oligarchs

  • We find that the claim is based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being withheld from the public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » How Many Global Deaths from Arms?

  • We find that the claim is based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being withheld from the public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » How Many Global Deaths from Arms?

  • We find that the claim is based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being withheld from the public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » 2010 » March

  • We find that the claim is based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being withheld from the public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » 2010 » March

  • We find that the claim is based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being withheld from the public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » How Many Global Deaths from Arms?

  • We find that the claim is based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being withheld from the public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » How Many Global Deaths from Arms?

Comments

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  • b) a newspaper article best read tomorrow

    December 14, 2007

  • c) a dieter's dream

    February 22, 2008

  • My recollection is that it is french for "fast hand".

    September 23, 2008