hoist with one's own petard

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hoist by/with (one's) own petard

Injured, ruined, or defeated by one's own action, device, or plot that was intended to harm another; having fallen victim to one's own trap or schemes. ("Hoist" in this instance is the past participle of the archaic verb "hoise," meaning to be raised or lifted up. A "petard" was a bell-shaped explosive used to breach walls, doors, and so on.) I tried to get my boss fired by planting drugs on him, but I was hoist by my own petard when the police caught me with them beforehand. The senator continually called on authorities to investigate her political opponent's alleged tax evasion. Now it seems as though she may end her political career hoist with her own petard, as federal agents indicted her for tax fraud on Monday.
See also: by, hoist, own, petard
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hoist with one's own petard

Caught in one’s own trap, defeated by one’s own weapons. The term alludes to an ancient weapon, a thick iron canister filled with gunpowder, which was fastened to a gate or other barrier in order to breach it. It was a dangerous weapon, because the engineer who set it off could easily be blown up (“hoist”) when it detonated. Shakespeare was among the first to transfer the term, in Hamlet (3.4): “Let it work; for ’tis the sport to have the enginer hoist with his own petar.”
See also: hoist, own, petard
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It seems like a classic case of being hoist with one's own petard. Around 10 percent of federal and provincial legislators lied about their qualifications.
Hoist with one's own petard. This expression means to be damaged or destroyed by the very means one used to damage or destroy others.
* Traditional dictionaries don't always include allusions, phrases like yellow brick road, Typhoid Mary, hoist with one's own petard, and alpha male, which are seldom easy to find.