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Open sesame   /ˈoʊpən sˈɛsəmi/   Listen
Open sesame

Any very successful means of achieving a result.
A magical command; used by Ali Baba.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Open sesame" Quotes from Famous Books

... explanation is, however, simple. The land is really rich. The ingredients are already here. Instead of being worthless, as was once supposed, this is a precious soil. The Aladdin's wand that unlocks all its treasures is the irrigating ditch; its "open sesame" is water; and the divinity who, at the call of man, bestows the priceless gift, is the Madre of the Sierras. A Roman conqueror once said that he had but to stamp upon the earth and legions would spring up to do his ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... I look across the floor at them as across countless ages, and listen to their voices till they sound unintelligibly from a remote and alien past. I do not know what they say to me. I am encompassed by dark and insoluble magic, and have forgotten the Open Sesame, though I try hard to remember it; for these present circumstances and the beings who move in them are of a ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... obliquely-set eyes he regarded us indifferently, but he nodded to our guide, who returned the salutation with a sly laugh. For some inexplicable reason that laugh fired my suspicions. It was—so to speak—an open sesame to a chamber of horrors, the more horrible because intangible and indescribable. Ajax said afterwards that he was similarly affected. The contagion of fear is a very remarkable thing, and one little understood by the physiologists. ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... had not prepared us for the comforts we found inside; and as for the first time we followed Giorgio and his brother-in-law up the rude and narrow stone staircase, which appeared to be scarped out of the very thickness of the wall—an open sesame from the former causing a strong iron studded door to fly back on its hinges, disclosed a handsome patis or court paved with black and white marble, along the sides of which were luxuriantly growing, and imparting a cooling freshness to the scene, the perfumed orange-tree, bearing ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... Regalia, so called, of the kind not worn by kings, nor obtaining their diamonds from the mines of Golconda. I have a passion for those resplendent titles which are not conferred by a sovereign and would not be the open sesame to the courts of royalty, yet which are as opulent in impressive adjectives as any Knight of the Garter's list of dignities. When I have recognized in the every-day name of His Very Worthy High Eminence of some cabalistic association, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... our gambling, because they, the people, having no surplus to gamble with, never come into Wall Street. And yet, knowing all this, you never thought, with all your wisdom and cynicism, that right here in this institution, which you own and control, was the open sesame, for each or all of you, to those great chests of gold that your clients, the 'System,' have filled to bursting from the stores of the people. What, I ask, do you wise men think of the situation as you now ...
— Friday, the Thirteenth • Thomas W. Lawson

... certain amount of the oil of the sesame seed is required by the laws of Germany and Denmark because it can be easily detected by a chemical color test and so serves to prevent the margarin containing it from being sold as butter. "Open sesame!" is the password to these markets. Remembering that margarin originally was made up entirely of animal fats, soft and hard, we can see from the above figures how rapidly they are being displaced by the vegetable fats. The cottonseed and peanut oils have replaced ...
— Creative Chemistry - Descriptive of Recent Achievements in the Chemical Industries • Edwin E. Slosson

... voice more fascinating than any, added, "Love one another; there is not on earth a surer talisman; it is the 'Open Sesame' which will put you in the possession of all the treasures ...
— The Wedding Guest • T.S. Arthur

... supposititious grievances of the far-off wretched and oppressed. The poor black man! the tortured slave! the benighted infidel! the debased image of his maker! the sunken bondsman! These terms must be the "Open sesame" for the breasts from whence spring bibles, bribes, blankets, glass beads, pocket-combs, tracts, teachers, missions, and missionaries. Oppression is what they would put down; but then the oppression must be of "foreign manufacture." Your English, genuine home-made article, though as superior in ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, December 4, 1841 • Various

... examination—leave the school on attaining the upper forms. To those who intend to enter the professions, the civil and military service, and the church, the full course of the secondary school is necessary, the "maturity" examination certificate being the only open sesame to the universities, the special colleges, and the technical high schools. To obtain it and to don the white cap, which is the outward and visible sign of university membership, is the first great step in the life of the ...
— Norwegian Life • Ethlyn T. Clough

... jack-knife!" or "Come, jelly-roll!" or "Come, rain!" according to his particular desires of the particular moment. I think he really caught it from an illustration in The Arabian Nights, from the picture of Cassim grandiloquently proclaiming "Open Sesame!" He is an imaginative little beggar. "Mummy," he said to me the other night, "see all the moonlight that's been spilled on the grass!" But children are made that way. Even my sage little Poppsy, when a marigold-leaf ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... March. It was at this time, while Hollis was lying unconscious and in delirium at a hospital, that his great wealth began to be exploited. Everywhere, when inquiries were made as to his health, fabulous statements followed about the Aurora. To mention the mine was like saying "Open Sesame!" Then, finally, it was whispered and repeated with conviction by people who "wouldn't have believed it of Hollis Tisdale" at the beginning, that he had defrauded the widow of his dead partner—who had made the discovery and paid ...
— The Rim of the Desert • Ada Woodruff Anderson

... friction, or failure in His eternal plans. Immutability, perfection, beauty, are stamped on all His laws. Love is the vital essence that pervades and permeates, from the center to the circumference, the graduating circles of all thought and action. Love is the talisman of human weal and woe—the open sesame to every human soul. Where two beings are drawn together, by the natural laws of likeness and affinity, union and happiness are the result. Such marriages might be Divine. But how is it now? You all know our marriage is, in many cases, ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... knock at a neighbour's door, now another effected an entrance by means of a ladder, and now the key would be wholly missing and for the time being we were roofless, as if burnt out of house and home. Sometimes we were locked in, sometimes we were locked out, a current "Open Sesame" we never had. ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... of children, yes,' the Vicar helped him, rising at the same time from the table. 'It was the spell, the passport, the open sesame to most of your adventures. Come now, if you won't have another glass of port, and we'll go into the drawing-room, and Joan, May I mean—no, Joan, of course, shall sing it to you. For this is a very special occasion ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... and the labor of others. The trade of a part of these was turning primary elections, packing nominating conventions, repeating, and breaking up meetings." Wood also systematized naturalization. A card bearing the following legend was the open sesame to ...
— The Boss and the Machine • Samuel P. Orth

... perhaps, and anxious to make her acquaintance, misconstrues shyness for pride—a masquerade which bashfulness sometimes plays; so two people, with volumes to say to each other, remain silent as fishes, until the kindly magician comes along, and, by the open sesame of an introduction, unlocks the treasure which has been so deftly hidden. A woman of fashion may enter an assembly of thinkers and find herself dreaded and shunned, until some kind word creates the entente cordiale. In the social entertainments ...
— Manners and Social Usages • Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

... you would succeed, Stanley. After getting me off, as you did; and making your own escape, before, it seems to me that you have got hold of the 'open sesame' of Ali Baba, and have only to use the cabalistic words to walk in and out, ...
— On the Irrawaddy - A Story of the First Burmese War • G. A. Henty

... said four hundred dollars, or even four hundred and fifty, the effect would not have been half so great upon Michael Phelan. The mention of an even five hundred dollars, though, was the open sesame to the very depths of his emotions. Five hundred dollars represented the talisman that would lead him safe through Purgatory into the land of sweet enchantments. The fires of his wrath were instantly cooled and he ...
— Officer 666 • Barton W. Currie

Words linked to "Open sesame" :   dictation, way, agency, command, bid, bidding, means

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