Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who proffers some illusory advantage or benefit. Also used as an adj.: Barmecidal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who offers imaginary food or illusory benefits: in allusion to the story, told in the Arabian Nights, of a member of the Barmecide family of Bagdad, who on one occasion placed a succession of empty dishes before a beggar, pretending that they contained a sumptuous repast, a fiction which the beggar humorously accepted.
  • Like, or like the entertainment of, the Barmecide of the story; hence, unreal, sham, illusory, etc.: as, “my Barmecide friend,”
  • a Barmecide feast or repast.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • "Barmecide" is the name of a family of princes in a tale from

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • He was apparently a very successful playwright; his works included a great many melodramas and popular tragedies, including Barmecide; or, The

    Demon of Switzerland and the Man and the Monster

  • It is, to be sure, something like the feast which the Barmecide served up to Alnaschar; and we cannot expect to get fat upon such diet.

    Redgauntlet

  • Jaafer the Barmecide and the Bean – Seller 299 37.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Next morning the two fell again to feasting and carousing, and ceased not to lead this life for a term of twenty years; at the end of which the Barmecide died and the

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Then the host began motioning with his hand as though he were giving my brother a mouthful; and ceased not to enumerate and expatiate upon the various dishes to the hungry man whose hunger waxt still more violent, so that his soul lusted after a bit of bread, even a barley scone. 690 Quoth the Barmecide, “Didst thou ever taste anything more delicious than the seasoning of these dishes?”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Barmecide said, “This bread was baked by a hand maid of mine whom I bought for five hundred dinars.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Barmecide and Abu Nowas, into the desert, where they fell in with an old man, propt against his ass.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Barmecide, who bore with the Commander of the Faithful and waited till the next Friday, when he entered the cathedral-mosque and, foregathering with the Caliph, related to him all that occurred to him of extra-ordinary stories anent seld-seen love and lovers, with intent to draw out what was in his mind.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Barmecide appeared to him in a vision and said, Verily thou hast wearied thyself to come to us and findest us as thou seest; but go to Bassorah and ask for a man there whose name is such and such, one of the merchants of the town, and say to him,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

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