Definition of Svengali in English:
- 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.
early 20th century: the name of a musician in George du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894), who controls Trilby's stage singing hypnotically.
trilby from (late 19th century):
Trilby was the heroine of George du Maurier's novel Trilby, published in 1894. In the stage version the Trilby character wore a soft felt hat with a narrow brim and indented crown, which was immediately dubbed a trilby. Trilby falls under the influence of a musician called Svengali, who trains her voice by hypnotizing her and makes her into a famous singer, although she had been tone-deaf before meeting him. A person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another is consequently sometimes called a Svengali.
Definition of Svengali in:
- US English dictionary
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