hoist by one's own petard

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Alternative forms[edit]


From the play Hamlet (III.iv.207) by Shakespeare:

  • For tis the sport to haue the enginer / Hoist with his owne petar.


hoist by one's own petard

  1. (idiomatic) To be hurt or destroyed by one's own plot or device intended for another; to be "blown up by one's own bomb".
    He has no one to blame but himself; he was hoisted by his own petard.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the US, the forms in "hoisted" are about as common as the forms in "hoist", in contrast to other usage of the past and past participle in which "hoisted" is fifteen times more common.


See also[edit]