Top definition
A form of intimidation or psychological abuse, sometimes called Ambient Abuse where false information is presented to the victim, making them doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity. The classic example of gaslighting is to switch something around on someone that you know they're sure to notice, but then deny knowing anything about it, and to explain that they "must be imagining things" when they challenge these changes.

A more psychological definition of gaslighting is "an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim - having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.
Your spouse begins telling you things that never really happened. For instance, he says that last week he told you he was going to go to the bar with his buddies this Monday night, but you never remember him telling you that.

Or maybe your boss gets angry because you didn't prepare the report he asked you to. When you remind him that he usually prepares that particular report, he snaps that he told you to take care of it a few days ago because he was too busy. However, you know he never asked you to do so.

Both of these could be considered gaslighting.
by Your Reality Check May 31, 2009
Get the mug
Get a Gaslighting mug for your buddy Helena.
When you lie to someone and you make them feel insane because they don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s a type of psychological abuse.
Matt Watson is always gaslighting Ryan Magee. Ryan says “ Stop gas lighting me Matt sponge bob is not gay”
by Super mega fan June 24, 2019
Get the mug
Get a Gaslighting mug for your papa Manley.
Gaslighting is a systematic pattern of abuse by which the abuser manipulates factual information to give the victim the impression that they cannot trust their own senses. It should not be confused with discounting or minimizing, two very different forms of verbal abuse that are far more common.
Yashar Ali has no idea what 'gaslighting' means.
by reallyitstrue November 01, 2012
Get the mug
Get a Gaslighting mug for your buddy Bob.
1. to tell a bald faced lie to someone and then brazenly deny that this was ever done

2. to give a person the frustration of moving their keys, purse, wallet, condoms, or other object and to then claim they were never moved or the person had done it themself

3. a frequent tool in the slickery dick or slickery clit's toolkit for infidelity

4. an insidious tool in the hands of unscrupulous mind-screwers and sociopaths

5. to tell a lie (consciously or unconsciously) without regard for whether or not you undermine another person's sanity/ perception of reality

It comes from the 1938 movie Gas Light.
Tommy Lee was gas lighting Elizabeth Taylor until she lost her mind. Mr. Lee should be shot.

Courtney Love leveled Kurt Cobain, not just with the multiple affairs, but by gently undermining his self respect with a little known procedure called gas lighting. He didn't even know he was a pound overweight until he was 20 pounds overweight. Poor guy.

It is a sign of the slow progress of culture that something as insidious as gas lighting can fail to be widely known, except in a slang dictionary definition, nearly three quarters of a century later than the movie by the same name.
by cudgel_bear March 08, 2010
Get the mug
Get a gas lighting mug for your dog Larisa.
A form of psychological abuse in which someone (historically male) attempts to invalidate or belittle another person (historically female) by painting a picture of them as 'psycho' or 'crazy'.
This is often done to justify, or deflect from the abuser's behavior.

This can be done in numerous ways

1) By attempting to trick the person themselves into thinking they are insane. Trying to make them lose trust in their own memory or perception.

2) By provocatively baiting someone (often by taunting them or pushing their buttons) into reacting 'irrationally' so that you may demonstrate to others that they are 'unmanageable', 'psycho' or 'crazy'.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was having an affair. In an attempt to 1) get rid of his wife, and get her out of the picture, and 2) justify his infidelity, he would try to convince her and others of her insanity. He would hide her belongings, torment her, withhold information from her then insist he told her and she simply forgot. This led to her being locked away in a mental asylum.

"Did you see how Michael was gaslighting Amber on Love Island last night? Her reaction to him cheating was completely sound until he provoked her by taunting her, and now he thinks he has proven his point that she is 'childish' and 'crazy'."
via giphy
by RubySmith1999 July 16, 2019
Get the mug
Get a Gaslighting mug for your Facebook friend Manafort.
Doing something to upset someone, waiting for them to react, then standing back in pretend ignorance saying "what? what did I do?"
Trump is gaslighting the middle east by moving the American embassy to Jerusalem
by eveonline2017 December 09, 2017
Get the mug
Get a Gaslighting mug for your mom Julia.
When a ‘significant other’ or friend stops wanting to hang with you unless they can’t find anyone else to hang with.
Some believe this terminology roots back to the operation of a gas lantern and how it can be turned down in an instant as not to waste fuel (i.e. a persons time) and then turned back up once there is insufficient natural light (i.e. there’s no one else to hang with).
Unsuspecting Dupe: “Man, I don’t know what’s up with Emmy. Everything’s cool and then all of a sudden she won’t call for a couple weeks; then she’ll just start showing up again.”
Unsuspecting Dupes friend: “Yea, she’s gaslighting you bro’.”
by mrhighandmighty April 03, 2008
Get the mug
Get a gaslighting mug for your girlfriend Sarah.