Word of the Day

Monday, November 24, 2014

gaslight

\GAS-lahyt\ , verb;
1.
to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation: How do you know if your partner is gaslighting you?
noun:
1.
light produced by the combustion of illuminating gas.
2.
a gas burner or gas jet for producing this kind of light.
adjective:
1.
gaslit ( def 2 ).
Quotes:
"My feeling is that he, Gable, and whoever else in this have been trying to gaslight the president." "Why would anyone want to make my husband think he's lost his mind?"
-- Jeff Rovin, Divide and Conquer: Tom Clancy's Op-Center, 2000
If Howard was more energetic and imaginative, I would suspect him of an elaborate plot to gaslight me.
-- Katharine Weber, True Confections, 2010
Origin:
Gaslight comes from a 1944 film of the same name in which a husband secretely and repeatedly dims and brightens the gaslights in the house while accusing his wife of imaginging the flickering. This movie was based on a play by Patrick Hamilton. The verb entered English in the mid-1900s.
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