hoist with their petard


an explosive device formerly used in warfare to blow in a door or gate, form a breach in a wall, etc.
a kind of firecracker.
(initial capital letter) . Also called Flying Dustbin. a British spigot mortar of World War II that fired a 40-pound (18 kg) finned bomb, designed to destroy pillboxes and other concrete obstacles.
hoist by/with one's own petard, hurt, ruined, or destroyed by the very device or plot one had intended for another.

1590–1600; < Middle French, equivalent to pet(er) to break wind (derivative of pet < Latin pēditum a breaking wind, orig. neuter of past participle of pēdere to break wind) + -ard -ard

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World English Dictionary
petard (pɪˈtɑːd)
1.  (formerly) a device containing explosives used to breach a wall, doors, etc
2.  hoist with one's own petard being the victim of one's own schemes
3.  a type of explosive firework
[C16: from French: firework, from péter to break wind, from Latin pēdere]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1598, "small bomb used to blow in doors and breach walls," from Fr. pétard (1580), from M.Fr. péter "break wind," from O.Fr. pet "a fart," from L. peditum, properly neut. pp. of pedere "to break wind" (in M.L. pettus). Surviving in phrase hoist with one's own petard (or some variant) "blown
up with one's own bomb," which is ult. from Shakespeare (1605):
"For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petar" ("Hamlet" III.iv.207).
See hoist.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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