Svengali

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

noun

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

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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