Svengali

[ sven-gah-lee, sfen- ]
/ svɛnˈgɑ li, sfɛn- /

noun

a person who completely dominates another, usually with selfish or sinister motives.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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decorum

Origin of Svengali

First recorded in 1940–45; after the evil hypnotist of the same name in the novel Trilby (1894) by George Du Maurier
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for svengali

British Dictionary definitions for svengali

Svengali
/ (svɛnˈɡɑːlɪ) /

noun

a person who controls another's mind, usually with sinister intentions

Word Origin for Svengali

after a character in George Du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894)
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