1 : a case containing an explosive to break down a door or gate or breach a wall
2 : a firework that explodes with a loud report
it's relevant to include that mirriam-webster goes on to say this word (i am paraphrasing) is often used in the context: "hoist with one's own PETARD" (a reference to hamlet in which someone is blown up by their own device intended for others), suggesting that someone is foiled by their own scheme. m-w tells me that the phrase has endured, although i have never heard it.
i am at a fork in the road (blog?). at this point i could write about one of two things: contemplating when cultural/contextual meanings of words actually make it into dictionary definitions OR an anecdote in which i myself was hoisted by my own PETARD.
i'm not sure that i enact deliberate schemes this late in my life. of course i have subconscious intentions, ulterior motives, subliminal manipulations, etc. and i'm sure many of these blow up in my face, but they're so discreet. i suppose, in a very simple sense, i tend to overburden myself and find that i cannot handle as much as i thought i could. this often materializes in the act of literally carrying too many things in my hands at once. i think, of course i can carry two half-filled glasses of water, a bowl of cereal, a book and my cell phone down the stairs. nope. i do it at work, too. if i could just fit one...more...box...of ginger snaps...on this table...i once knocked over a precariously-placed vase of orchids trying to do this.
thankfully, for my sake, i have a decent sense of humor and i can laugh in these instances: oh candace, once again, hoisted by your own PETARD.* i'm not too worried, as long as i can continually juggle the really important things (school, work, money, friends...um...relationships...). if i drop a tall drink of water here and there, it'll remind me to re-evaluate my freight.
*i have to admit, it's distracting how much the word resembles "retard."