Definition of Svengali in English:


Syllabification: Sven·ga·li
Pronunciation: /svenˈgälē, sfen-
  • 1A musician in George du Maurier’s novel Trilby (1894) who trains Trilby’s voice and controls her stage singing hypnotically.
  • 1.1 (as noun a Svengali) A person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another, especially for a sinister purpose.
    More example sentences
    • Hypnosis is not a sinister tool for Svengalis but a ‘gentle, effective and empowering therapy’.
    • They had better songs but more importantly they covered a broader age range, exhibiting a shrewdness lost on later generations of Svengalis.
    • Music Svengalis litter the music industry, but there's only one Anthony H Wilson.

More definitions of Svengali

Definition of Svengali in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw