apprentice

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apprentice (one) to

To pair one with an expert in a particular field or trade so that one can learn about it. I have apprenticed my son to the local blacksmith.
See also: apprentice

sorcerer's apprentice

Someone who is unable to contain or control a situation, event, or process that they instigated. A reference to a ballad written by Goethe in 1797 called "Der Zauberlehrling," about an apprentice magician who, through arrogance in his own abilities, brings a broom to life to do his chores for him, only to realize he has no way of controlling it. The banking authority, like a sorcerer's apprentice, created a system where greater bad debts were being inflated far beyond their market value, thus leading to a severe crash once the bubble inevitably burst.
See also: apprentice

apprentice someone to someone

to assign someone to work at a certain trade and learn it from someone experienced. She apprenticed her son to a local diesel mechanic. I apprenticed myself to a printer and learned what it means to get really dirty.
See also: apprentice

sorcerer's apprentice

a person who having instigated a process is unable to control it.
This is a translation of the French L'Apprenti sorcier, the title of an 1897 symphonic poem by Paul Dukas based on Der Zauberlehrling, a 1797 ballad by Goethe . In this ballad the apprentice's use of magic spells sets in motion a series of events which he cannot control.
See also: apprentice