'Sleight' of hand, not 'slight'

"Magician used slight of hand skills to steal money while working at the cheese counter at Harrods,” announced a headline in the Daily Mail.

Don’t make this mistake. Trickery involving sneaking movements is “sleight of hand.”

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, sleight is a noun meaning deceitful craftiness, stratagem, dexterity or skill. Of course, you never hear it used that way. The only time it comes up is in the term “sleight of hand,” which is probably why the dictionary has a listing for the whole term. 

sleight of hand


a: a cleverly executed trick or deception

b: a conjuring trick requiring manual dexterity 


a: skill and dexterity in conjuring tricks

b: adroitness in deception

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