To manipulate someone psychologically to make them doubt their perception of reality or question their own sanity.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



manipulate, deceive, trick, mislead, dupe, hoodwink, bluff, confuse, bamboozle


believe, trust, support, validate, confirm, assure

Example sentences

  • She felt like her manager was trying to gaslight her by denying her requests she had in writing.

  • The politician’s attempt to gaslight the public with his blatant lies was immediately called out by the media.

  • He was gaslighting his partner into believing that they were the cause of all the problems in the relationship.

  • The company tried to gaslight the employees by denying the poor working conditions and blaming their complaints on individual performance issues.


The term “gaslight” originated from a play and later a movie called “Gas Light” in which the husband manipulates his wife into doubting her perception of reality to cover up his criminal activities. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which a person uses psychological manipulation to make someone question their own memories, experiences, or sanity. The term is used colloquially to describe a variety of behaviors, from lying and denying facts to misrepresenting events or conversations.

The word “gaslight” can also be used as a noun to describe the act of gaslighting or as an adjective to describe someone who engages in gaslighting behaviors. For example, “He was a master at gaslighting her, and she always doubted her own feelings and thoughts around him.”

There are some variations of the word, such as “gaslighter” and “gaslighting,” which are commonly used to describe the person who is doing the manipulation and the act of manipulation, respectively. The prefix “gas” refers to the use of gas lamps, which were dimmed or brightened to create the illusion of flickering or fluctuating light, which was used in the original story to create a sense of unease and uncertainty in the protagonist.