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.


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


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

Definition of sleight in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day noisome
Pronunciation: ˈnɔɪs(ə)m
having an extremely offensive smell