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From knave +‎ -ery.



knavery (countable and uncountable, plural knaveries)

  1. The antics or tricks of a knave; boyish mischief.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene vii], page 89, column 1:
      [] Harry Monmouth, being in his right wittes and his good iudgements, turn'd away the fat Knight with the great belly doublet: he was full of ieſts, and gypes, and knaueries, and mockes; I haue forgot his name.
    • 1820 January 1, Geoffrey Crayon [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “Christmas Eve”, in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., number V, New York, N.Y.: [] C. S. Van Winkle, [], OCLC 1090970992, page 389:
      The young Oxonian, on the contrary, had led out one of his maiden aunts, on whom the rogue played a thousand little knaveries with impunity; he was full of practical jokes, and his delight was to tease his aunts and cousins; yet, like all mad-cap youngsters, he was a universal favourite among the women.
  2. An unprincipled action; deceit.