• synonyms


  1. a member of a noble Persian family of Baghdad who, according to a tale in The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, gave a beggar a pretended feast with empty dishes.
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  1. Barmecidal.
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Origin of Barmecide

< Persian Barmekī family name, literally, offspring of Barmek, with -ide -id1 for Persian < Arabic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barmecide

Historical Examples

  • But a banquet in which the plates only are good is but a Barmecide feast, after all.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865


  • Is it possible the Regenerator is, after all, more tantalizing than the Barmecide?

  • My dear Barmecide friend, isn't it pleasant to be in such fine company?

    The Newcomes

    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • But one of them is always nailed; there is no escaping the Barmecide.


    James Huneker

  • Accustomed to these regular Barmecide suggestions, Barker made no direct reply.

British Dictionary definitions for barmecide



  1. lavish or plentiful in imagination only; illusory; shama Barmecide feast
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Word Origin

C18: from the name of a prince in The Arabian Nights who served empty plates to beggars, alleging that they held sumptuous food
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012