open sesame


noun

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

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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences 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

noun

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