Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To hold an intense interest or attraction for. See Synonyms at charm.
  • transitive v. To hold motionless; spellbind.
  • transitive v. Obsolete To bewitch.
  • intransitive v. To be irresistibly charming or attractive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To evoke an intense interest or attraction in someone
  • v. To make someone hold motionless; to spellbind
  • v. To be irresistibly charming or attractive to

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To influence in an uncontrollable manner; to operate on by some powerful or irresistible charm; to bewitch; to enchant.
  • transitive v. To excite and allure irresistibly or powerfully; to charm; to captivate, as by physical or mental charms.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bewitch; act on by witchcraft or by some analogous powerful or irresistible influence; hence, to influence the imagination, reason, or will of in an uncontrollable manner.
  • To enchant; captivate; excite the passions or affections of, and allure powerfully or irresistibly.
  • Synonyms Charm, etc. (see enchant); to throw or bring under a spell, hold spell-bound, entrance, enamour.
  • To exercise a bewitching or captivating power.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. attract; cause to be enamored
  • v. cause to be interested or curious
  • v. to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe

Etymologies

Latin fascināre, fascināt-, to cast a spell on, from fascinum, an evil spell, a phallic-shaped amulet.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fascinātus, perfect passive participle of fascinō ("enchant, bewitch, fascinate"), from fascinum ("a phallus-shaped amulet worn around the neck used in Ancient Rome; witchcraft"). (Wiktionary)

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