mover and shaker


A person who wields power and influence in a particular activity or field, as in He's one of the movers and shakers in the art world. At first the two nouns referred specifically to God, alluding to the belief that a divine force was responsible for all events. The current usage refers only to human beings. [Second half of 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.