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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Thursday 6th May 2021
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

legerdemain (noun) ledj-er-de-MAIN

Trickery, conjuring, sleight of hand, cleverness for deceitful purposes.

Some accused the White House of legerdemain. Kent Conrad, top Democrat on budget matters in the Senate, said it was “filled with debt and deception”.

Unattributed, The Economist, 8 February 2007. The Economist

Studying videotapes of him and observing at first hand some of his serendipitous microbursts of legerdemain have taught writer how inappropriate it is to say "Ricky Jay does card tricks" - a characterization as inadequate as "Sonny Rollins plays tenor saxophone" or "Darci Kistler dances."

Mark Singer, The New Yorker, 5 April 1993. The New Yorker

At first, such structural legerdemain may seem a gimmick, but, through repetition, it develops a hurtling power: pitched back into the origins of a given action, we seem to be travelling according to the operation of a new physical law.

David Denby, The New Yorker, 5 March 2007. The New Yorker

Its repeated shots of the hero's hand insinuating itself into the intimate orifices of his victim's pockets transform the legerdemain of petty theft into a jubilantly sensual, almost sexual practice.

Gilbert Adair, The Guardian, 10 October 2007. Guardian

It was a piece of legerdemain of which Carlos Spencer or Mark Ella would have been proud. In mid-air, with the hooker Dougie Hall wrapped around his waist, he somehow stretched out his left arm, defying all the laws of physics to avoid contact with the corner flag and planted the ball even as he was being flung in the opposite direction.

Kevin Mitchell, The Observer, 4 February 2007. Observer

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