One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(1874–1926), US magician and escape artist; born in Hungary; born Erik Weisz. In the early 1900s, he became known for his ability to escape from all kinds of bonds and containers, from prison cells to aerially suspended straitjackets.
- 1.1as noun A person skilled at escaping.‘you're a regular Houdini’
- ‘People call him a ‘lucky’ Prime Minister, and if they mean that, Houdini like, he gets out of tight corners, like the knife-edge vote on university top-up fees, then they're right.’
- ‘Houdini to the end, he'll leave office more popular than ever.’
- ‘And he's a regular Houdini. He can get out of that thing in just a few minutes.’
- ‘The man's a regular Houdini!’
- 1.2 An ingenious escape.‘he will have to do a Houdini to escape from me’
- ‘We hope it's not a Houdini act - you see it today and it disappears in the next couple weeks.’
- ‘‘Thankfully, we got our act together to give ourselves this chance and hopefully now with our support behind us we can do a Houdini and retain our status,’ said Quinlan.’
- ‘Any creature captured then put on public exhibition will do a Houdini and terrorize the town.’
- ‘CB had 17 of the Pistons' 41 points at the half before pulling a Houdini and magically disappearing in the second half, registering just 1 lonely point.’
- ‘Elizabeth's BFF constantly pulls a Houdini, disappearing on some adventure or another.’
- ‘I wonder if they'll let me do a Houdini and board the plane in a straitjacket and watertank?’
- 1.1as noun A person skilled at escaping.
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