Etymology
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Svengali

"one who exerts controlling or mesmeric influence on another," 1914, from hypnotist character of that name in the novel "Trilby" (1894) by George Du Maurier.

updated on October 10, 2017

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Definitions of Svengali from WordNet

Svengali (n.)
someone (usually maleficent) who tries to persuade or force another person to do his bidding;
Svengali (n.)
the musician in a novel by George du Maurier who controls Trilby's singing hypnotically;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.

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