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open sesame

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noun
  1. any marvelously effective means for bringing about a desired result: Wealth is the open sesame to happiness.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for open sesame

Historical Examples

  • 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

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

    The Story of Seville

    Walter M. Gallichan

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

  • 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
  1. a very successful means of achieving a result
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Word Origin

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