McGuffin


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MacGuffin

Also: McGuffin
an object, event, or character in a story that lacks intrinsic importance but serves to set and keep the plot in motion

McGuffin

(məˈɡʌfɪn) or

MacGuffin

n
1. (Film) an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot
[C20: coined (c. 1935) by Sir Alfred Hitchcock]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.McGuffin - (film) a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot; "the McGuffin was a key element of Alfred Hitchcock's films"
plot element - a component or element of the plot of a story
cinema, film, celluloid - a medium that disseminates moving pictures; "theater pieces transferred to celluloid"; "this story would be good cinema"; "film coverage of sporting events"
References in periodicals archive ?
If you're going to have a McGuffin, said Hitchcock, you'd better do something with it before the story's finished.
This is one of the reasons that I like behavioral genetics -- it is atheoretical (Plomin, DeFries, McClearn, & McGuffin, in press).
But Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association, said that his organization opposes the CHPA approach because it ignores what is already known and documented about the safety of herbs in pregnancy
The film was Simpatico - an adjective which does not refer to any of its characters, but is the name of a champion racehorse, who is what Hitchcock would have called the McGuffin behind the plot.
18 in Pulaski County Chancery Court asking that former franchisees Angie McDonald of Orlando, Fla., and Jan and Wayne McGuffin of Dallas be stopped from using FPI's trademarks and name.
It was the mantra, the formula, the McGuffin of this long-running drama, even when Republicans controlled Congress.
Antrim was co-founded by president and CEO Roy McGuffin, previously at circuit simulation company Meta-Software Inc, along with Bendt Sorensen, vice president of technology, Thomas Quarles, engineering director, and S.
Just before the first missiles were fired, the ship's Christian chaplain, Lt Frederick McGuffin, got on the horn and read a prayer.
His report represents the first evidence that a gene on the X chromosome works differently depending on which parent it's inherited from, according to an accompanying commentary by Peter McGuffin and Jane Scourfield of the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff.
interactive development and publishing division of Time Warner Inc., will introduce in early spring two PC CD-ROM game titles--Conqueror and Fast Attack, as well as one children's educational product--The Incredible Adventures of Aristotle McGuffin.
Later novels by Bowen include Storyboard (1960), The McGuffin (1984), and The Girls: A Story of Village Life (1986).
This latter work builds on that of McGuffin and Novotony in the early 1980s and has great potential in the determination of trace levels of contaminants which are not volatile enough to be determined by gas chromatography.