• WordNet 3.6
    • n petard an explosive device used to break down a gate or wall
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Petard (Mil) A case containing powder to be exploded, esp. a conical or cylindrical case of metal filled with powder and attached to a plank, to be exploded against and break down gates, barricades, drawbridges, etc. It has been superseded.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n petard An engine of war used to blow in a door or gate, form a From a breach in a wall, etc. It came into use in the sixteenth century, and in its early forms was a kind of mortar of iron or bronze which was charged with about seven pounds of gunpowder, rammed down and wadded, and fixed by means of rings to a stout plank, which was then attached to the surface to be blown in. The use of bombs has rendered the petard almost obsolete, but as still occasionally employed it is a cubical box of stout oak-wood, charged with twenty pounds or more of powder, and fired, like the older forms, by a fuse.
    • n petard A small paper cartridge used in ornamental fireworks, generally at the end of a lance, so arranged that the flame terminates with an explosion.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Petard pē-tärd′ a kind of mortar filled with gunpowder, fixed to gates, barriers, &c., to break them down by explosion
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  • William Shakespeare
    “For 'Tis the sport to have the engineer hoisted with his own petard.”


Hoist with your own petard - If you are hoist with your own petard, you get into trouble or caught in a trap that you had set for someone else.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. pétard, fr. péter, to break wind, to crack, to explode, L. pedere, peditum,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr.—péter, to crack or explode—L. pedĕre, cog. with Gr. perdein, Eng. fart.


In literature:

It shall go hard, but that they are 'hoist with their own petard!
"Capitola's Peril" by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth
Agnes cut this out, enclosing it with an anonymous letter to Petard.
"The Cricket" by Marjorie Cooke
The man who fixes and fires a petard, a service of great danger.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
And I decided to see him hoisted by his own petard.
"The Prairie Mother" by Arthur Stringer
Hoist with his own petard.
"Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather" by Charles W. Upham
Of course Sir John refused, and Sir William proceeded to fix a petard to the gate, to blow it in.
"Highways and Byways in Surrey" by Eric Parker
What a pretty petard in prospect!...
"Messengers of Evil" by Pierre Souvestre
Davidge was eager to seize Nicky in the very act of planting his torpedo and hoist him with his own petard.
"The Cup of Fury" by Rupert Hughes
The petards thrown over the barricades to-day were of his make, but he had to fly.
"The Count's Chauffeur" by William Le Queux
She seldom scored a success, and this time she was hoisted with her own petard.
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan

In poetry:

Old MRS. PETER soon began
To see the failure of his plan,
And then resolved (I quote the Bard)
To "hoist him with his own petard."
"The Perils of Invisibility" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

It is always a joy to see a politician hoist by his own petard, and Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, is the latest we have to thank for providing that spectacle.
Hoisted with one's own petard .
Hoist By Their Own Petard .
Hoist by our own petard .
In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Frank Baitman, president of Petards, exhorts Congress to pass laws governing the use of surveillance technologies for security.
Petards is a Baltimore-based subsidiary of Petards Group, a British-based developer of surveillance system s and installations.
Hoist By Their Own Petard.