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black magic

Magic used for or derived from evil forces, such as witchcraft or sorcery. He laid a curse upon the town with his black magic, robbing people of their free will.
See also: black, magic

magic bullet

1. A drug, treatment, or medical therapy that provides an immediate cure to an ailment, disease, or condition without negative side effects or consequences. Despite the amazing leaps in medical technology and knowledge, we're still quite a ways off from developing a magic bullet in cancer treatment. Beware any person or company trying to sell you a magic bullet for your health problems. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
2. Something that provides an immediate and extremely effective solution to a given problem or difficulty, especially one that is normally very complex or hard to resolve. There's no magic bullet that will solve the homelessness crisis in this country.
See also: bullet, magic

work (one's) magic

To use one's unique talents or charm to obtain a desired thing or outcome. I never thought the boss would approve our business trip, but Sam worked her magic, and now, we're off to Denver! Whenever I can't get my car running, I have my dad come over and work his magic on the engine.
See also: magic, work

magic carpet

A carpet capable of propelling itself through the air, usually as people ride on it. Typically featured in fantasy stories and fairy tales. My kids love hearing fantastical stories that are full of monsters, spells, and magic carpet rides.
See also: carpet, magic

magic eye

A cathode-ray tube found on some radios (particularly in the mid-20th century) that displayed a visual cue to aid the tuning of the radio. Back in my day, we needed to use a magic eye to tune our radios!
See also: eye, magic

magic moment

A brief experience perceived as special in some way. Seeing the little girl run up and hug her father when he returned home from deployment was a magic moment. The concert was actually pretty boring, but there was a magic moment during the flute solo that I'll never forget.
See also: magic, moment

magic touch

An ability to perform a particular task perfectly or with ease, especially when other cannot. I asked Gary if he wanted to try starting the car, and sure enough he had the magic touch. Give that account to June. She has the magic touch when it comes to dealing with difficult clients.
See also: magic, touch

magic wand

Something that provides an easy or immediate way to fix to a problem. I wish I had a magic wand to get this house cleaned up before the party tonight. There's no magic wand to eliminate your debt—you just have to pay off a little each month.
See also: magic, wand

white magic

Magic that aims to foster good, either by bringing about positive outcomes or by keeping bad things from happening. Her illness has gotten worse, so I did white magic focused on restoring her health. Can you do some white magic to stop this hurricane?
See also: magic, white

silver bullet

Something that provides an immediate and extremely effective solution to a given problem or difficulty, especially one that is normally very complex or hard to resolve. The phrase is almost always used in a statement that such a solution does not exist. There's no silver bullet that will solve the homelessness crisis in this country. The way to make progress is through deliberate, logical discussions around the issue.
See also: bullet, silver

work your/its magic

to achieve a positive result Can the Austrian men win, or will the Americans work their magic at the Olympics? You have to sit back and let the images in Ozu's films work their magic.
See also: magic, work

wave a magic wand

to solve a difficult problem with no effort Unfortunately, you can't just wave a magic wand and get rid of poverty.
Etymology: from the practice of waving a wand (a special stick) when someone is doing a magic trick
See also: magic, wand, wave

a magic moment

a short period of time which is very special, especially because something happens which makes you very happy The young eagle was only in view for a few seconds, but for a bird-lover like me it was a magic moment.
See also: magic, moment

a magic touch

a special ability to do something very well The film's great success will no doubt please the 46-year old director who was rumoured to have lost his magic touch.
See also: magic, touch

a magic wand

an easy way to solve a problem
Usage notes: A magic wand is a stick that a person who performs magic tricks waves to make things happen.
(usually negative) Artiside has warned that he has no magic wand to provide food and work overnight. I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make all your troubles go away, but I can't.
See also: magic, wand

What's the magic word?

  (British & Australian)
something that you say to a child in order to make them say 'please' or 'thank you' 'Can I have a chocolate, mummy?' 'What's the magic word?' 'Please.'
See work magic, work like magic
See also: magic

work like magic

if something works like magic, it is very effective and successful That new stain remover worked like magic.
See also: like, magic, work

work your/its magic

to make a situation improve a lot or to make someone feel happy He was a great football player who is now working his magic as manager of Barnet Football Club. The city never failed to work its magic on me.
See also: magic, work

magic mushrooms

and sacred mushrooms
n. mushrooms of the genus Psilocybe, which cause visions or hallucinations when eaten. (Drugs.) Magic mushrooms are okay because they are natural, or something like that. They sometimes call peyote cactus buds, the “sacred mushrooms.”
See also: magic, mushroom

silver bullet

and magic bullet
n. a specific, fail-safe solution to a problem. (From the notion that a bullet made of silver is required to shoot a werewolf.) I’m not suggesting that the committee has provided us with a silver bullet, only that their advice was timely and useful. I don’t know the answer. I don’t have a magic bullet!
See also: bullet, silver

magic bullet

See also: bullet, magic


n. heroin. This “tragic-magic,” which has swept over the land, has taken too many of our youth.