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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.
Something vague or illusory used to give the appearance that a budget is properly balanced. Though the phrase originated with the use of actual asterisks on budgetary documents during Ronald Reagan's presidency, it is now applied to other methods of budgetary obfuscation as well. The only way that the government can increase its spending without also increasing taxes is through magic asterisks, and you know it. That vaguely titled category is just a magic asterisk, and I refuse to sign off on anything until I hear what exactly these cuts entail.
See also: magic
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.
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.
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!
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.
Psilocybin mushrooms, which have psychoactive effects when ingested. I ate way too many magic mushrooms and had the trippiest night of my life! They told me these were magic mushrooms, but I don't really feel anything after eating them.
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.
1. To use magic in order to make someone or something appear out of thin air. The wizard magicked up a giant golem and ordered it to attack the army of orcs.
2. To produce, create, or cause to appear a person or thing very suddenly, as if by magic. A noun or pronoun can be used between "magic" and "up." The floundering production seems to have magicked a new director up out of thin air. Their scientists managed to magic up a cure for the disease in just a matter of days.
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.
pure fucking magic
rude slang Incredible, wonderful, or awe-inspiring. I'm telling you, their live concerts are pure fucking magic!
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.
1. dated slang Heroin. When you're an addict, you'll do just about anything to get your next fix of that tragic magic.
2. dated slang Crack cocaine mixed with phencyclidine (PCP). I heard they caught the teacher smoking tragic magic in his car one afternoon during his lunch break.
wave a magic wand
To provide the perfect solution to a given problem or difficulty, as if by magic. If I could wave a magic wand, I would just make it so the pipe had been installed properly in the first place. But I can't, so we're going to have to make a decision about how to fix it. We can't just wave a magic wand and make poverty go away. It will have to be a systematic effort by many stakeholders.
wave a/(one's) (magic) wand (and do something)
To provide the perfect solution to a given problem or difficulty, as if by magic. If I could wave my magic wand, I would just make it so the pipe had been installed properly in the first place. But I can't, so we're going to have to make a decision about how to fix it. We can't just wave a magic wand and make poverty go away. It will have to be a systematic effort by many stakeholders.
weave (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 wove her magic, and now, we're off to Denver! Whenever I can't get my car running, I have my dad come over and weave his magic on the engine.
What's the magic word?
A question posed to someone (typically a child) when they have asked for something without saying "please." A: "Can I have some money to go to the movies?" B: "What's the magic word?"
See also: 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?
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.
work like magic
To be exceptionally effective. This new software works like magic. I barely had to do anything and the image is perfect. Our teeth-whitening methods work like magic. You'll be amazed at the difference.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wave a magic wand
If someone waves a magic wand, they quickly and easily make things the way you want them to be. As much as I would like to, I can't solve all your problems by waving a magic wand. The fans think that you just wave a magic wand and you get money. Note: This expression is usually used to talk about things which are not possible.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
a magic carpeta means of sudden and effortless travel.
In fairy tales, a magic carpet is able to transport a person sitting on it to any place they desire.
wave a (or your) magic wandexercise an arbitrary (quasi-supernatural) power in order to make something happen.
2004 Trinidad Guardian It is not realistic to believe or to say that a UNC government would wave a magic wand and crime would dissipate.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
(have) a/the magic ˈtouch(have) a special ability that means you do something very well: She seems to have a magic touch with the children and they do everything she asks.
weave your ˈmagic,
weave a ˈspell (over somebody)(especially British English) perform or behave in a way that attracts and interests somebody very much or makes them react in a particular way: Will Owen be able to weave his magic against Spain on Wednesday?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
magic mushroomsand 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.”
silver bulletand 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 silver bullet
n. heroin. This “tragic-magic,” which has swept over the land, has taken too many of our youth.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A fail-safe solution to a problem. The term was coined by Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915), who won the 1908 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. He gave the name to a compound that selectively targeted a bacterium without affecting other organisms, specifically the agent causing syphilis. The name soon was transferred to other curative compounds, and later to other kinds of problem. For example, “The Federal Reserve has no magic bullet for dealing with high unemployment.”
A highly accurate projectile of death or destruction. Sir Walter Scott may have been the first to use the idea of a literal silver bullet in Lockhart (1808), “I have only hopes that he will be shot with a silver bullet.” The term caught on in the first half of the 1900s because the popular western hero of the radio program, The Lone Ranger, used a silver bullet. During the Korean War an antiaircraft shell that hit precisely on target was called “silver bullet.” By the late 1900s the term also was being used figuratively, as in, “We’re hoping our new software will be the silver bullet to put the company on the map.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer