• WordNet 3.6
    • n thimblerig a swindling sleight-of-hand game; victim guesses which of three things a pellet is under
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Thimblerig A sleight-of-hand trick played with three small cups, shaped like thimbles, and a small ball or little pea.
    • v. t Thimblerig To swindle by means of small cups or thimbles, and a pea or small ball placed under one of them and quickly shifted to another, the victim laying a wager that he knows under which cup it is; hence, to cheat by any trick.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n thimblerig A sleight-of-hand trick played with three small cups shaped like thimbles, and a small ball or pea. The ball or pea is put on a table and covered with one of the cups. The operator then begins moving the cups about, offering to bet that no one can tell under which cup the pea lies. The one who bets is seldom allowed to win.
    • thimblerig To cheat by means of thimblerig, or sleight of hand.
    • ***


In literature:

How terribly alike are all human rogueries, whether the scene be a conference at Vienna, or the tent of a thimblerig at Ascot!
"The Fortunes Of Glencore" by Charles James Lever
It looks as if he were doing a considerable piece of thimblerigging at my expense.
"The Golden Triangle" by Maurice Leblanc
Thimblerig iz a game az old az Methuselah.
"The Complete Works of Josh Billings" by Henry W. Shaw

In news:

Arts & Entertainment Thimblerig Circus in Highlands Saturday.
Come one, come all to witness the Thimblerig Circus at the Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb 12, at 7:30 pm Thimblerig is a fancy name for the cup and ball routine.