A person who instigates a process or project which they are then unable to control.
- 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.
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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