1A game involving sleight of hand, in which three inverted cups or nutshells are moved about, and contestants must spot which is the one with a pea or other object underneath.
- One way they can achieve this is to have their friend Ron play a variation of the familiar shell game by hiding a pea under one of three walnut shells, numbered 1, 2 and 3.
- Finding the company's real revenue-as opposed to reported revenue-was akin to locating the hidden bean in a shell game.
- Usually, when you see him on television, you get the impression that just minutes before, he was fleecing the tourists, running a crooked shell game in the alley.
1.1A deceptive and evasive action or ploy, especially a political one: officials played a shell game by loading prisoners onto buses during population counts at the jail
More example sentences
- They've played this shell game and this terrible game for years and again, I think we need to call them on it.
- But we should also say this is a bit of a shell game.
- His vision of national pride seems a shell game.
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