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.
early 20th century: the name of a musician in George du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894), who controls Trilby's stage singing hypnotically.
Definition of Svengali in:
- The US English dictionary