gaslight

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gaslight

To manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to doubt their experience of reality. The phrase comes from the 1938 play Gas Light, in which the protagonist attempts to induce insanity in his wife by constantly questioning or doubting her reports of strange events, such as the dimming of the house's gas lights (which has in fact occurred and is related to the husband's nefarious activities). Her husband must be gaslighting her because she suddenly doubts all the evidence that she's found of his indiscretions. The administration has been accused of gaslighting with its repeated attempts to spread disinformation.

gaslighting

The act of manipulating someone psychologically so that they begin to doubt their experience of reality. The phrase comes from the 1938 play Gas Light, in which the protagonist attempts to induce insanity in his wife by constantly questioning or doubting her reports of strange events, such as the dimming of the house's gas lights (which has in fact occurred and is related to the husband's nefarious activities). Her husband must be gaslighting her because she suddenly doubts all the evidence that she's found of his indiscretions. The administration has been accused of gaslighting with its repeated attempts to spread disinformation.
See also: gaslight
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Gaslight is a mystery which is set in Victorian London.
"They ask you, 'Oh, what's this?' You tell them a gaslight. 'Oh, I didn't realize there was any gaslights left,' '' Mr.
It took many decades, but eventually the harsh glare of high-pressure sodium lights vanquished the warm glow of gaslights block by block.
The city's former legion of perhaps 2,000 gaslights had thinned to 601 by 1946 and then dwindled further to 295 by 1962, according to newspaper accounts from those years.
The first City Hall efforts, unsuccessful as it turned out, to systematically uproot all the remaining cast iron gaslights began in the early 1950s.
Fewer than 60 gaslights made it to the early 1970s.
The long slide to extinction for Worcester's gaslights seems to have been halted at 27 for now.
This past Tuesday, after a stormy winter that often stranded his gaslights in tall snowbanks, Mr.
Corazzini, 52, has tended the city's gaslights ever since as a kind of cross between a hobby and a laughably low-paying part-time job.
Perhaps the only people more wistful about Worcester's gaslights than Mr.
Artist Christina O'Neill, who painted a series of watercolors of Worcester's gaslights five years ago, also learned how protective residents are of the lights when she went around photographing them for her project.
The gaslights fascinated her as an artist because they represented something thoroughly outmoded, and yet still useful and beautiful, that has persisted alongside newer technology.
While his Institute Road neighborhood has a pocket of seven gaslights within a few blocks, the other 20 are spread out in ones and twos from the Elm Park area to Green Island and Main South.
His own family history has shown some gaslights last longer than the men who maintain them.
A gaslight on Elm Street across from Elm Park was damaged beyond repair during the December 2008 ice storm.