open sesame

noun

open ses·​a·​me ˌō-pən-ˈse-sə-mē How to pronounce open sesame (audio)
: something that unfailingly brings about a desired end

Examples of open sesame in a Sentence

Perfect test scores are an open sesame to the best schools. it turned out that a simple “please” was the open sesame for charming the hotel manager into giving us a room with a better view
Recent Examples on the Web But is an ‘Alexandria in the cloud’ really an open sesame? Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 1 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'open sesame.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

from open sesame, the magical command used by Ali Baba to open the door of the robbers' den in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

First Known Use

1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of open sesame was in 1814

Dictionary Entries Near open sesame

Cite this Entry

“Open sesame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/open%20sesame. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

open sesame

noun
: something that always works to bring about a desired result
Etymology

from open sesame, the magical command used by Ali Baba to open the door of the robbers' den in the story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

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