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Word of the Day
Monday, November 24, 2014

Definitions for gaslight

  1. to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation: How do you know if your partner is gaslighting you?
  2. light produced by the combustion of illuminating gas.
  3. a gas burner or gas jet for producing this kind of light.

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Citations for gaslight
"My feeling is that he, Gable, and whoever else in this have been trying to gaslight the president." "Why would anyone want to make my husband think he's lost his mind?" Jeff Rovin, Divide and Conquer: Tom Clancy's Op-Center, 2000
If Howard was more energetic and imaginative, I would suspect him of an elaborate plot to gaslight me. Katharine Weber, True Confections, 2010
Origin of gaslight
The verb sense of gaslight comes from a 1944 film of the same name in which a husband secretly and repeatedly dims and brightens the gaslights in the house while accusing his wife of imagining the flickering. This movie was based on a play by Patrick Hamilton. The verb entered English in the mid-1900s, though earlier senses had existed in English since the early 1800s.