Definition of sleight in English:


Line breaks: sleight
Pronunciation: /slʌɪt


[mass noun] literary
  • The use of dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive: except by sleight of logic, the two positions cannot be harmonized
    More example sentences
    • What we're faced with are psychic sharps, like card sharps: sleight of hand, sleight of mind.
    • It is also deftly staged using an impressive sleight of hand and sleight of eye.
    • Their skill and sleight of foot are bound to yield many goals this season.


sleight of hand

Manual dexterity, typically in performing conjuring tricks: a nifty bit of sleight of hand got the ashtray into the correct position
More example sentences
  • There is every chance that he performed a little sleight of hand and other conjuring.
  • After my first success I became intensely interested and gave up the sleight of hand and conjuring work I had been doing.
  • These people are magicians - expert architects of enjoyment - performing incredible sleights of hand.
dexterity, adroitness, deftness, nimbleness of fingers, skill
Skilful deception: this is financial sleight of hand of the worst sort
More example sentences
  • He freely admitted that magic depended on deception and sleight of hand but said: ‘Origami is real magic!’
  • One of the most startling public acts of deception and sleight of hand has been undertaken by the provincial government.
  • 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.
deception, deceit, dissimulation, double-dealing, chicanery, trickery, sharp practice, legerdemain


Middle English sleghth 'cunning, skill', from Old Norse slœgth, from slœgr 'sly'.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little