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svengali (sven-GAH-lee) noun
A person who manipulates and exercises excessive control over another for sinister purposes.
[After Svengali, a musician and hypnotist, in the novel Trilby written by
George du Maurier (1834-1896). In the story, Trilby is an artist's model.
She's tone-deaf, but Svengali transforms her into a singing sensation under
his hypnotic spell.
-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
"'Idol' was created by Simon Fuller, the Spice Girls svengali, and first aired in England in 2001, as 'Pop Idol.'" Sasha Frere-Jones; Idolatry; The New Yorker; May 19, 2008.
Speech is for the convenience of those who are hard of hearing. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)
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