open sesame


any marvelously effective means for bringing about a desired result: Wealth is the open sesame to happiness.

Nearby words

  1. open sea,
  2. open season,
  3. open season on,
  4. open secret,
  5. open sentence,
  6. open set,
  7. open shop,
  8. open side,
  9. open sight,
  10. open slather

Origin of open sesame

First recorded in 1785–95; from the use of these words by Ali Baba to open the door of the robbers' den Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for open sesame

  • There are a dozen men in the city, a line from whom would be an open-sesame.

  • The conserje in the Patio de la Monteria scanned the open-sesame.

    The Story of Seville|Walter M. Gallichan
  • She had expected the name to act as an open-sesame, and it was not even recognised.

    The Daughters of a Genius|Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • This open-sesame for the iron gates was given to each person with the warning that it must not be forgotten.

    A Trip to the Orient|Robert Urie Jacob

British Dictionary definitions for open sesame

open sesame


a very successful means of achieving a result

Word Origin for open sesame

from the magical words used by Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights' Entertainments to open the door of the robbers' den

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