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McGuffin

MacGuffin

noun
  1. an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot
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Word Origin for McGuffin

C20: coined (c. 1935) by Sir Alfred Hitchcock
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