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Invented by Harry Houdini from the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin

Proper noun[edit]


  1. The magician and escape artist Harry Houdini.


Houdini (plural Houdinis)

  1. An escape artist.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Used attributively, as in
    A delighted Thurlow described his performance as "a real Houdini act".(BBC news report)



Houdini (third-person singular simple present Houdinis, present participle Houdiniing or Houdini-ing, simple past and past participle Houdinied or Houdini-ed)

  1. to vanish, or escape a difficult situation quickly.
    • 2008, Anthony A. von Dessauer, Victoria, Lulu.com, page 97:
      “Hey! Let’s go see what the others are up too,” he suggested and Houdinied his way out from between the counter and Lorilei before fleeing to the hallway.
    • 2009, Tony Esposito, Don’t Ever Leave This Country, AuthorHouse, page 197:
      While she Houdinied out of the sheets she seesawed upright to a sitting position, then, free, she sprang to her feet, her spiffy breasts not the least bit fazed by her thunky dismount.
    • 2012, Jennie Ketcham, I Am Jennie, Gallery Books, page 340:
      Friends: to those I Houdini-ed, those I ran away from, those I lied to, took advantage of, or abused in any sort of way, I am sorry.