Legerdemain Leg`er*de*main" (l[e^]j`[~e]r*d[-e]*m[=a]n"), n. [F. l['e]ger light, nimble + de of + main hand, L. manus. See 3d {Leger}, and {Manual}.] Sleight of hand; a trick of sleight of hand; hence, any artful deception or trick. [1913 Webster]

He of legierdemayne the mysteries did know. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

The tricks and legerdemain by which men impose upon their own souls. --South. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • legerdemain — index deception, knavery, maneuver (trick), prestidigitation Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • legerdemain — early 15c., conjuring tricks, from M.Fr. léger de main quick of hand, lit. light of hand, from léger light in weight (from L. levis light; see LEVER (Cf. lever)) + main hand (from L. manus; see MANUAL (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • legerdemain — [n] sleight of hand artfulness, chicanery, conjuring, craftiness, cunning, deceit, deception, hocus pocus, manipulation, trickery; concepts 59,278 …   New thesaurus

  • legerdemain — ► NOUN 1) skilful use of one s hands when performing conjuring tricks. 2) deception; trickery. ORIGIN from French léger de main dexterous (literally light of hand ) …   English terms dictionary

  • legerdemain — [lej΄ər di mān′] n. [ME < MFr leger de main, lit., light of hand < leger (< LL * levarius < L levis, LIGHT2) + de (< L de, of, from) + main < L manus, hand] 1. sleight of hand; skill of a stage magician 2. trickery of any sort;… …   English World dictionary

  • legerdemain — noun 1) stage magicians practicing legerdemain Syn: sleight of hand, conjuring, magic, wizardry; formal prestidigitation; rare thaumaturgy 2) a piece of management legerdemain Syn: trickery, cunning, artfulness, craftiness, chicanery …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • legerdemain — le|ger|de|main [ˌledʒədəˈmeın US dʒər ] n [U] old fashioned [Date: 1400 1500; : French; Origin: léger de main light of hand ] when you deceive people cleverly ▪ economic legerdemain …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • legerdemain —    (leh jer de MAIN, lay zhay deu MENH) [French] Sleight of hand; hocus pocus; trickery; artful deception.    Yugoslavs themselves express wonder at how Milosevic manages this feat of financial legerdemain. Time, April 26, 1999 …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • legerdemain — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French leger de main light of hand Date: 15th century 1. sleight of hand 2. a display of skill or adroitness …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • legerdemain — legerdemainist, n. /lej euhr deuh mayn /, n. 1. sleight of hand. 2. trickery; deception. 3. any artful trick. [1400 50; late ME legerdemeyn, lygarde de mayne < MF: lit., light of hand] * * * …   Universalium

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