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do it with mirrors

1. To do or perform something (especially a magic trick) by using an optical illusion. Everyone was astounded when he appeared to levitate off the ground, but I'm pretty sure he just did it with mirrors.
2. To do something in a highly secretive, illusory, or inexplicable way, likened to that of a magic trick. The military operation was completely unseen, completely unnoticed by anybody, as if they did it with mirrors. The company's CEO managed to swindle his clients out of millions of dollars, doing it with mirrors so that no one would notice the disappearance of the money until it was too late.
See also: mirror

able to fog a mirror

Fig. Inf. alive, even if just barely. (Usually jocular. Alludes to the use of a small mirror placed under the nose to tell if a person is breathing or not. (Able to can be replaced with can.) Look, I don't need an athlete to do this job! Anybody able to fog a mirror will do fine!
See also: able, fog, mirror

smoke and mirrors

deception and confusion. (Said of statements or more complicated rhetoric used to mislead people rather than inform. Alludes to the way a magician uses optical illusion to create believability while performing a trick. Fixed order.) Most people know that the politician was just using smoke and mirrors to make things look better than they really were. Her report was little more than smoke and mirrors. No one will believe any of it.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

something that is meant to confuse or deceive people Is this crisis just so much smoke and mirrors, or is it true that the government will run out of money?
Usage notes: usually involving a large organization rather than only one person
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

  (American & Australian)
something which is intended to confuse or deceive people, especially by making them believe that a situation is better than it really is Smoke and mirrors made the company seem bigger and healthier than it really was. It was just clever marketing.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

done by mirrors

and done with mirrors
mod. illusory; accomplished in a way that is purposefully deceptive. He’s not really smart. It’s all done by mirrors. The whole budgetary process is done with mirrors.
See also: done, mirror

done with mirrors

verb
See also: done, mirror

smoke and mirrors

n. a strategy of deception and cover up. Her entire report was nothing but smoke and mirrors. Who could believe any of it?
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

Something that deceives or distorts the truth: Your explanation is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
See also: and, mirror, smoke
References in classic literature ?
When they went once more into the long hall with the windows and the mirrors, yellow evening was dropping over the waters and the willowy banks; and a bittern sounded in the distance like an elf upon his dwarfish drum.
Yet, by a strange deception, owing to the duskiness of the chamber, and the antique dresses which they still wore, the tall mirror is said to have reflected the figures of the three old, gray, withered grandsires, ridiculously contending for the skinny ugliness of a shrivelled grandam.
As soon as breakfast was over they all went into the Magician's big workshop, where the Glass Cat was lying before the mirror and the Patchwork Girl lay limp and lifeless upon the bench.
Unseeing, his eyes rested upon the shaving mirror which still hung upon the tent wall above the table; but his sight was focused far beyond.
It was this fact that aroused a faint spark of interest in Tarzan, and so as he speculated upon the future he watched in the mirror the reflection of the players at the table behind him.
If you will allow me,' he said, "to take the place of the mirror, I think that I could give you any assurances you required.
It was in the trade mirror that Lerumie saw Borckman bend to the yam-sacks, return to the erect, throw his head back, the mouth of the bottle glued to his lips, the bottom elevated skyward.
While they were playing one day as children, they happened by chance to look together into a mirror that was placed on their mother's chair.
A SILKEN-EARED Spaniel, who traced his descent from King Charles the Second of England, chanced to look into a mirror which was leaning against the wainscoting of a room on the ground floor of his mistress's house.
Give me, I pray, thy wonderful mirror, so that when absent out of
He crept to it to revive himself, lifted the upper part of his body on his trembling arms, thrust forward his head and saw the reflection of his face, as in a mirror.
And there he saw a lady combing her hair, and looking in a mirror.
His home was henceforth the post at Long's Peak; his horizon, the mirror of that immense reflector.
One day he was in a very good humor, for he had made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was good-for-nothing and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in ugliness.
Against the wrinkly mirror stood pictures of General Kitchener, William Muldoon, the Duchess of Marlborough, and Benvenuto Cellini.