mirror


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do it with mirrors

1. To do or perform something (especially a magic trick) by using an optical illusion. Everyone was astounded when he appeared to levitate off the ground, but I'm pretty sure he just did it with mirrors.
2. To do something in a highly secretive, illusory, or inexplicable way, likened to that of a magic trick. The military operation was completely unseen, completely unnoticed by anybody, as if they did it with mirrors. The company's CEO managed to swindle his clients out of millions of dollars, doing it with mirrors so that no one would notice the disappearance of the money until it was too late.
See also: mirror

able to fog a mirror

Alive, perhaps barely. (If one holds up a mirror to one's nose or mouth, the breath will cause fog to appear.) I spent the whole day moving furniture, so I'm barely able to fog a mirror now. He'll date any woman who's able to fog a mirror.
See also: able, fog, mirror

smoke and mirrors

Trickery, deception, or misdirection. The candidate has been accused of using smoke and mirrors during the debate to undermine the credibility of his opponent. Before computer generated effects, filmmakers had to use a lot of smoke and mirrors to make fantastic, unbelievable things look realistic in their movies.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

(all) done with mirrors

Done using trickery, deception, or misdirection. Before computer generated effects, fantastic, unbelievable things in movies were all done with mirrors.
See also: done, mirror

(all) done by mirrors

Done using trickery, deception, or misdirection. Before computer generated effects, fantastic, unbelievable things in movies were all done by mirrors.
See also: by, done, mirror

able to fog a mirror

Fig. Inf. alive, even if just barely. (Usually jocular. Alludes to the use of a small mirror placed under the nose to tell if a person is breathing or not. (Able to can be replaced with can.) Look, I don't need an athlete to do this job! Anybody able to fog a mirror will do fine!
See also: able, fog, mirror

smoke and mirrors

deception and confusion. (Said of statements or more complicated rhetoric used to mislead people rather than inform. Alludes to the way a magician uses optical illusion to create believability while performing a trick. Fixed order.) Most people know that the politician was just using smoke and mirrors to make things look better than they really were. Her report was little more than smoke and mirrors. No one will believe any of it.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors are words and actions that are intended to deceive or confuse people, especially by making something seem better than it really is. The president claims that his economic plan is free of the smoke and mirrors of previous presidential budget proposals. Thousands of shareholders learned too late that the company's image of success had been created with smoke and mirrors. Note: Magicians sometimes use smoke and mirrors when they are performing tricks, in order to confuse or deceive people.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

all done with mirrors

achieved with an element of trickery.
This phrase alludes to the fact that conjuring tricks are often explained as being achieved through the skilful use of mirrors; compare with smoke and mirrors (at smoke).
See also: all, done, mirror

smoke and mirrors

the obscuring or embellishing of the truth of a situation with misleading or irrelevant information. chiefly North American
1998 Sunday Telegraph Ministers accused the Conservatives of a ‘smoke and mirrors’ con trick.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and ˈmirrors

used to describe ways of tricking people or of hiding the truth: He said the government had used smoke and mirrors to raise taxes.The commission has declared war on the smoke and mirrors of sales promotions.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

done by mirrors

and done with mirrors
mod. illusory; accomplished in a way that is purposefully deceptive. He’s not really smart. It’s all done by mirrors. The whole budgetary process is done with mirrors.
See also: by, done, mirror

done with mirrors

verb
See also: done, mirror

smoke and mirrors

n. a strategy of deception and cover up. Her entire report was nothing but smoke and mirrors. Who could believe any of it?
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

Something that deceives or distorts the truth: Your explanation is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
See also: and, mirror, smoke
References in classic literature ?
It was a peculiarity of this glittering, glass-panelled place that anyone entering was reflected in four or five mirrors at once; and Father Brown, without turning round, stopped in the middle of a sentence of family criticism.
An instant later he passed at the second window and the many mirrors repainted in successive frames the same eagle profile and marching figure.
Then he suddenly remembered the mirrors, and put his fancy down to some psychological effect of that multiplication of human masks.
Then the mirror turns at once and is moved with incredible rapidity."
If you watch, you will see the mirror first rise an inch or two and then shift an inch or two from left to right.
With his free arm, the Persian drew the young man to his chest and, suddenly, the mirror turned, in a blinding daze of cross-lights: it turned like one of those revolving doors which have lately been fixed to the entrances of most restaurants, it turned, carrying Raoul and the Persian with it and suddenly hurling them from the full light into the deepest darkness.
As for the Widow Wycherly, she stood before the mirror courtesying and simpering to her own image, and greeting it as the friend whom she loved better than all the world beside.
Yet, by a strange deception, owing to the duskiness of the chamber, and the antique dresses which they still wore, the tall mirror is said to have reflected the figures of the three old, gray, withered grandsires, ridiculously contending for the skinny ugliness of a shrivelled grandam.
Don Quixote observed all, and took note of all, and from what he saw and observed he concluded that the said knight must be a man of great strength, but he did not for all that give way to fear, like Sancho Panza; on the contrary, with a composed and dauntless air, he said to the Knight of the Mirrors, "If, sir knight, your great eagerness to fight has not banished your courtesy, by it I would entreat you to raise your visor a little, in order that I may see if the comeliness of your countenance corresponds with that of your equipment."
"Whether you come victorious or vanquished out of this emprise, sir knight," replied he of the Mirrors, "you will have more than enough time and leisure to see me; and if now I do not comply with your request, it is because it seems to me I should do a serious wrong to the fair Casildea de Vandalia in wasting time while I stopped to raise my visor before compelling you to confess what you are already aware I maintain."
"To that we answer you," said he of the Mirrors, "that you are as like the very knight I vanquished as one egg is like another, but as you say enchanters persecute you, I will not venture to say positively whether you are the said person or not."
With this, cutting short the colloquy, they mounted, and Don Quixote wheeled Rocinante round in order to take a proper distance to charge back upon his adversary, and he of the Mirrors did the same; but Don Quixote had not moved away twenty paces when he heard himself called by the other, and, each returning half-way, he of the Mirrors said to him, "Remember, sir knight, that the terms of our combat are, that the vanquished, as I said before, shall be at the victor's disposal."
While Don Quixote waited for Sancho to mount into the cork tree he of the Mirrors took as much ground as he considered requisite, and, supposing Don Quixote to have done the same, without waiting for any sound of trumpet or other signal to direct them, he wheeled his horse, which was not more agile or better-looking than Rocinante, and at his top speed, which was an easy trot, he proceeded to charge his enemy; seeing him, however, engaged in putting Sancho up, he drew rein, and halted in mid career, for which his horse was very grateful, as he was already unable to go.
"Thy advice is not bad," said Don Quixote, "for of enemies the fewer the better;" and he was drawing his sword to carry into effect Sancho's counsel and suggestion, when the squire of the Mirrors came up, now without the nose which had made him so hideous, and cried out in a loud voice, "Mind what you are about, Senor Don Quixote; that is your friend, the bachelor Samson Carrasco, you have at your feet, and I am his squire."
"Why, to be sure I am!" returned the now unnosed squire; "Tom Cecial I am, gossip and friend Sancho Panza; and I'll tell you presently the means and tricks and falsehoods by which I have been brought here; but in the meantime, beg and entreat of your master not to touch, maltreat, wound, or slay the Knight of the Mirrors whom he has at his feet; because, beyond all dispute, it is the rash and ill-advised bachelor Samson Carrasco, our fellow townsman."