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steal someone's thunder

Definition of steal someone's thunder in English:

Win praise for oneself by pre-empting someone else’s attempt to impress.
[From an exclamation by the English dramatist John Dennis (1657–1734), who invented a method of simulating the sound of thunder as a theatrical sound effect and used it in an unsuccessful play. Shortly after his play came to the end of its short run he heard his new thunder effects used at a performance of Macbeth, whereupon he is said to have exclaimed: ‘Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder!’]
Example sentences
  • However, in an apparent copycat career move, Lindsay is also recording her own debut album, which some say is another attempt to steal Duff 's thunder.
  • But senior officers stole their thunder by revealing for the first time estimates of the funding needed for the new centre.
  • However, Mosley stole their thunder by confronting them with a number of new proposals as soon as the official meeting began.
See parent entry: steal
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