Bar·​me·​cid·​al ˌbär-mə-ˈsī-dᵊl How to pronounce Barmecidal (audio)
variants or Barmecide
: providing only the illusion of abundance
a Barmecidal feast

Did you know?

Barmecide is the name of a family of princes in a tale from The Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment). One prince in the family torments a beggar by inviting him to a fabulous feast, at which all the dishes are imaginary. The poor man plays along with his malicious host, pretending to get drunk on the imaginary wine; he then gets even by knocking down the patronizing royal.

Word History


Barmecide, a wealthy Persian, who, in a tale of The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, invited a beggar to a feast of imaginary food

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Barmecidal was in 1823


Dictionary Entries Near Barmecidal

Cite this Entry

“Barmecidal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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