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black magic

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.
See also: black, magic

magic bullet

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.
See also: bullet, magic

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.
See also: magic, work

magic carpet

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.
See also: carpet, magic

magic eye

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!
See also: eye, magic

magic moment

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.
See also: magic, moment

magic touch

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.
See also: magic, touch

magic wand

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.
See also: magic, wand

white 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?
See also: magic, white

silver bullet

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.
See also: bullet, silver

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.
See also: magic, wand, wave

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

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.
See also: like, magic, work

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.
See also: magic, wand, wave

a magic carpet

a 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.
See also: carpet, magic

wave a (or your) magic wand

exercise 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.
See also: magic, wand, wave

(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.
See also: magic, touch

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?
See also: magic, weave

magic mushrooms

and 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.”
See also: magic, mushroom

silver bullet

and 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 also: bullet, silver

magic bullet

See also: bullet, magic


n. heroin. This “tragic-magic,” which has swept over the land, has taken too many of our youth.