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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sleight \Sleight\, n. [OE. sleighte, sleihte, sleithe, Icel. sl?g? (for sl?g?) slyness, cunning, fr. sl?gr (for sl?gr) sly, cunning. See Sly.]

  1. Cunning; craft; artful practice. [Obs.] ``His sleight and his covin.''

  2. An artful trick; sly artifice; a feat so dexterous that the manner of performance escapes observation.

    The world hath many subtle sleights.

  3. Dexterous practice; dexterity; skill.
    --Chaucer. ``The juggler's sleight.''

    Sleight of hand, legerdemain; prestidigitation.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"cunning," early 14c. alteration of sleahthe (c.1200), from Old Norse sloegð "cleverness, cunning, slyness," from sloegr (see sly). Meaning "skill, cleverness, dexterity" is from late 14c. Meaning "feat or trick requiring quickness and nimbleness of the hands" is from 1590s. Term sleight of hand is attested from c.1400.


n. 1 cunning; craft; artful practice. 2 An artful trick; sly artifice; a feat so dexterous that the manner of performance escapes observation. 3 Dexterous practice; dexterity; skill.


n. adroitness in using the hands [syn: dexterity, manual dexterity]


Sleight is a surname, and may refer to:

  • George Sleight (1853–1921), English trawler owner
  • Karl J. Sleight (born 1962), attorney
  • Cornelius Barentsen Sleght (born 1616) Dutch Ancestor of the Sleight Family in Duchess County, NY
Sleight (film)

Sleight is a 2016 American drama film directed by J.D. Dillard and written by J.D. Dillard and Alex Theurer. The film stars Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dulé Hill, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata and Michael Villar. The film is scheduled to be released on April 7, 2017, by WWE Studios and Blumhouse Tilt.

Usage examples of "sleight".

We plan a simple misdirection, a sleight of hand, so that our enemies cannot stop us.

She palmed the gold pieces and they disappeared down the front of her beaded bodice with credible sleight of hand.

Legerdemain, sleight of hand, prestidigitation, became the dominant interest of my life.

But by my thrift yet shall I blear their eye, For all the sleight in their philosophy.

To all appearances it was one of those instructional books of card tricks, sleight of hand, illusions involving silk scarves, and so on.

Of all the wondrous devices and dexterities, the sleights of hand and countless subtleties, to which the veteran whaleman is so often forced, none exceed that fine manoeuvre with the lance called pitchpoling.

I confess that there is, but it is none the less a dishonourable imputation on me, and you in your turn must confess that those who think that I won by sleight of hand, or by an agreement with a rascal, insult me grievously.

Him therefore now the obiect of his spightAnd deadly food he makes: him to offendBy forged treason, or by open fightHe seekes, of all his drift the aymed end:Thereto his subtile engins he does bendHis practick wit, and his faire filed tong,With thousand other sleights: for well he kend,His credit now in doubtfull ballaunce hong.

At last when as the Sarazin perceiu'd,How that straunge sword refusd, to serue his need,But when he stroke most strong, the dint deceiu'd,He flong it from him, and deuoyd of dreed,Vpon him lightly leaping without heed,Twixt his two mighty armes engrasped fast,Thinking to ouerthrow and downe him tred:But him in strength and skill the Prince surpast,And through his nimble sleight did vnder him down cast.

He ran through another sleight, very skillfully burying the ace of hearts, then cutting the cards and pulling it out again.

Some sleight of hand would be required when he got the deal and had to switch the cold deck in and do the pull-through shuffle and the table shift to negate the cut, and these cards were bigger than normal playing cards, but Ozzie had taught the young Scott how to do those moves smoothly before he was ten years old, and he had no doubt that his hands remembered the skills.

She made him yearn for more than confidence games and sleight of hand.

Rather than fight a losing battle to learn higher magic, they would concentrate on the lesser skills of illusion and sleight of hand, and be happy with what they were.

A bit contemptuous of sorcerers, with their sleights and illusions and gibble-gabble, but afraid of wizards.

He quickly scans the faces of the men sitting nearest to the table, but not a one gives away his sleight of hand.