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sorcerer's apprentice

Syllabification: sor·cer·er's ap·pren·tice

Definition of sorcerer's apprentice in English:

noun

A person who instigates a process or project which they are then unable to control.
Example sentences
  • Now the liberals found themselves in the position of the sorcerer's apprentice, unable to control the forces they had unleashed to make their lives easier.
  • Karl Marx once compared capitalism to the sorcerer's apprentice, who unleashed amazing powers outside his control.
  • He then directed his squad of sorcerer's apprentices in Santa Monica to build scores of models that interpreted and expanded on his sketches.

Origin

translating French l'apprenti sorcier, a symphonic poem (1897) by Paul Dukas, suggested by German der Zauberlehrling (1797), a poem by Goethe.

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