Share this entry

hoist with (or by) one's own petard

Definition of hoist with or by one's own petard in English:

Have one’s plans to cause trouble for others backfire on one.
[From Shakespeare's Hamlet ( iii. iv. 207); hoist is in the sense 'lifted and removed', past participle of dialect hoise (see hoist)]
Example sentences
  • Charges of working against the interests of your own country are very slippery things, and may get the one making the charges hoisted by his own petard someday.
  • But, with any luck, he may soon be hoisted by his own petard.
  • He's been at if for years and he finally got hoisted by his own petard.
See parent entry: petard

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources