petard(redirected from hoisted by own petard)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to hoisted by own petard: petard
1. A small bell-shaped bomb used to breach a gate or wall.
2. A loud firecracker.
be hoist with one's own petard
To be undone by one's own schemes.
[French pétard, from Old French, from peter, to break wind, from pet, a breaking of wind, from Latin pēditum, from neuter past participle of pēdere, to break wind; see pezd- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: The idiom to be hoist by one's own petard originates in Shakespeare's Hamlet (written around 1600). In the play, Claudius, the Danish king and Hamlet's stepfather, entreats two of Hamlet's schoolfellows, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to betray Hamlet—the pair are to escort Hamlet to England, carrying a letter instructing the English king to put Hamlet to death. Learning of the plot to kill him, Hamlet contemplates how to turn the tables against them: "For 'tis the sport to have the enginer / Hoist with his own petar; and't shall go hard / But I will delve one yard below their mines / And blow them at the moon." Hoist is the past participle of hoise, an earlier form of the verb hoist, "to be lifted up," while a petar or petard is a small bomb used in early modern warfare. The phrase "hoist with his own petard" therefore means "to be blown up with his own bomb." Contemporary audiences must have been struck by Shakespeare's turn of phrase, because it soon became a commonplace expression in 17th-century English.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) (formerly) a device containing explosives used to breach a wall, doors, etc
2. hoist with one's own petard being the victim of one's own schemes
3. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a type of explosive firework
[C16: from French: firework, from péter to break wind, from Latin pēdere]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. an explosive device formerly used in warfare to blow in a door or gate, form a breach in a wall, etc.
2. a firecracker making a loud noise.Idioms:
hoist by or with one's own petard, caught by the very device one had contrived to hurt another.
[1598; < Middle French, =pet(er) to break wind (derivative of pet < Latin pēditum a breaking wind, orig. neuter past participle of pēdere to break wind) + -ard -ard]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
An artwork produced to draw attention to itself through unusual composition, subject matter, etc.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
n → Petarde f ? hoist
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995