• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Barmecide One who proffers some illusory advantage or benefit. Also used as an adj.: Barmecidal. "A Barmecide feast."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Barmecide One who offers imaginary food or illusory benefits: in allusion to the story, told in the Arabian Nights, of a member of the Barmecide family of Bagdad, who on one occasion placed a succession of empty dishes before a beggar, pretending that they contained a sumptuous repast, a fiction which the beggar humorously accepted.
    • Barmecide Like, or like the entertainment of, the Barmecide of the story; hence, unreal, sham, illusory, etc.: as, “my Barmecide friend,”
    • Barmecide a Barmecide feast or repast.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Barmecide bär′me-sīd one who offers an imaginary or pretended banquet or other benefit
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
A prince of the Barmecide, family, who, as related in the “Arabian Nights' Tales”, pretended to set before the hungry Shacabac food, on which the latter pretended to feast
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From a story in the Arabian Nights, in which a beggar is entertained to an imaginary feast by one of the Barmecides, a Persian family who attained to great influence at the court of the Abbasside caliphs.


In literature:

At this the Barmecide, instead of being angry, began to laugh, and embraced him heartily.
"The Arabian Nights Entertainments" by Andrew Lang.
My dear Barmecide friend, isn't it pleasant to be in such fine company?
"The Newcomes" by William Makepeace Thackeray
Barmecide first washed in hypothetical water, Schacabac followed his example.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1" by The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.
And here they sat around the green table, forlorn as the guests at a Barmecide feast.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862" by Various
Thou Scottish Barmecide, feeding the hunger Of Curiosity with airy gammon!
"The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood" by Thomas Hood
It was the Barmecide; and poor Schacabac bowed low before him, as was the custom in that country.
"Fifty Famous Stories Retold" by James Baldwin
Swearing at systems and ideas, as Hadria says, is a Barmecide feast to one's vindictiveness.
"The Daughters of Danaus" by Mona Caird
But a banquet in which the plates only are good is but a Barmecide feast, after all.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865" by Various
BARMECIDES, more accurately BARMAKIDS, a noble Persian family which attained great power under the Abbasid caliphs.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
It was a true Barmecide feast.
"The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Or,Three Roads In Life" by Charles James Lever
As they sat down at their Barmecide feast, how wretched the assemblage of unrivalled dainties seemed!
"Christmas Eve and Christmas Day" by Edward E. Hale
As long as the Barmecides were in office, he acted only on their direction.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 1" by Various
Is it possible the Regenerator is, after all, more tantalizing than the Barmecide?
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 60, No. 370, August 1846" by Various
The giver of this Barmecide feast saw his dangerous position, and looked around for Dumphy, but he had disappeared.
"Gabriel Conroy" by Bert Harte
"Mollie's Prince" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
People do not cease to be hungry when they lose their teeth, and a Barmecide banquet is better than no feast at all.
"True to a Type, Vol. II (of 2)" by Robert Cleland