shell game

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shell game

n.
1. A game, often a swindle involving gambling, in which a person hides a small object underneath one of three nutshells, thimbles, or cups, then shuffles them about on a flat surface while spectators try to guess the final location of the object. Also called thimblerig.
2. A fraud or deception perpetrated by shifting conspicuous things to hide something else.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

shell game

n
(Gambling, except Cards) the US name for thimblerig
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

shell′ game`


n.
1. a swindling game in which a small object is supposedly hidden under one of three walnut shells or the like and bets are made.
2. any swindle or fraud.
[1885–90, Amer.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shell game - a swindling sleight-of-hand gameshell game - a swindling sleight-of-hand game; victim guesses which of three things a pellet is under
swindle, cheat, rig - the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme; "that book is a fraud"
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