from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who manipulates or controls another as by some mesmeric or sinister influence; especially a coach, mentor or industry mogul.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Named from a character in George du Maurier's novel Trilby.



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  • A character from George du Maurier's 1894 novel Trilby who controls the tone-deaf eponymous heroine's singing voice by means of hypnosis, enabling her to become an international diva. This character's name has become a byword for someone who exerts a controlling influence over another, usually for a sinister purpose.

    August 30, 2008

  • See almost Solveig and beetlestomper. See, also, Shite Mega-Megahit.

    May 14, 2010

  • The term has entered the media lexicon for an unaccountable but overridingly influential adviser to a political leader or candidate.

    December 17, 2010