legerdemain

When a magician waves his hands over a hat and pulls out a rabbit, he is performing an act of legerdemain or trickery.

Legerdemain can be used literally to describe a magic trick, or figuratively to describe some other kind of trickery or deceit. If you and some friends cook up a scheme that involves telling complicated lies so that you can stay out all night, you are guilty of legerdemain. The word comes from the French l├ęger de main which means dexterous, or light of hand.

Definitions of legerdemain
1

n an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers

Synonyms:
conjuration, conjuring trick, deception, illusion, magic, magic trick, thaumaturgy, trick
Types:
card trick
a trick performed with playing cards
prestidigitation, sleight of hand
manual dexterity in the execution of tricks
Type of:
performance
the act of presenting a play or a piece of music or other entertainment

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.