Definition of McGuffin in English:

McGuffin

Line breaks: McGuf¦fin
Pronunciation: /məˈgʌfɪn
 
/
(also MacGuffin)

noun

  • An object or device in a film or a book which serves merely as a trigger for the plot: the McGuffin in this intriguing comedy is an unpublished novel by a young writer killed in the war
    More example sentences
    • I named it after Alfred Hitchock's description of his plot device, a McGuffin, that every character in the story searches for believing it will solve their problem.
    • Although this plot motivation is not much more than one of Hitchcock's famous McGuffins, it is a McGuffin that strongly hints at the U.S. government's illegal incursions into foreign parts of the globe.
    • So if the mystery plot is really just a McGuffin, what is Fuller really trying to accomplish by setting the story in this mental asylum?

Origin

1930s: a Scottish surname, coined in this sense by the English film director Alfred Hitchcock, allegedly from a humorous story involving such a pivotal factor.

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Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
noun
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively