mind reading

noun
1.
the ability to discern the thoughts of others without the normal means of communication, especially by means of a preternatural power.
2.
an act or the practice of so discerning the thoughts of another.
Also called thought reading.


Origin:
1880–85

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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mind reading

a magician's trick involving various silent or verbal signals that cue a conjurer to answer a question as though with second sight. Philip Breslaw, the first magician of note to feature mind reading, played in 1781 at the Haymarket Theatre in London to appreciative audiences. In 1784 the Pinettis, a husband-and-wife team, advertised Mrs. Pinetti as able to guess the thoughts of the audience. In the 19th century, Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin, Robert Heller, Compars Herrmann, and Henri Robin also used mind reading as part of their repertoire. In the 20th century there were Harry Houdini, Joseph Dunninger, and the Amazing Kreskin.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Short of mind reading, no one can know what folks are really feeling.
Mind reading is poised to make a remarkable leap from the carnival to the laboratory.
If you are bored and don't mind reading a few chapters for fun then this is worth doing.
Eaton performs a succession of impossibilities that include: predictions, mind reading and fantastic revelations.
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