Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: PERFORMING

Date: 1400-1500
Origin: sleight 'skill, trick' (13-20 centuries) from Old Norse slœgth, from slœgr; SLY

sleight of hand

noun
     
sleight of hand [uncountable]
1AP the use of quick and skilful movements with your hands when doing a magic trick, so that people cannot understand how you did the trick
2 the use of skilful tricks and lies in order to deceive someone
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