American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination.
- n. Hypnotic induction believed to involve animal magnetism.
- n. Hypnotism.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The doctrine that-one person can exercise influence over the will and nervous system of another, and produce certain phenomena by virtue of a supposed emanation, called animal magnetism, proceeding from him, or simply by the domination of his will over that of the person operated on. Originally Mesmer professed to produce his results by the operation of actual magnets, but all such apparatus has long been abandoned, and those who profess belief in magnetism as the cause of the phenomena exhibited refer it to the body of the mesmerist. The actual phenomena believed to be produced by this so-called animal magnetism are now explained by modern hypnotism, or artificial somnambulism, which within recent years has been the subject of extended research. It is now generally admitted that there is no force of any kind transmitted from the operator to the person operated upon, and many of the pretensions of mesmerism, such as clairvoyance, are rejected. The term mesmerism is still popularly used, often more or less synonymously with hypnotism, but more frequently in its original or an allied sense. Other terms used more or less synonymously with either mesmerism or hypnotism are braidism (after the English surgeon Braid, who first studied the phenomena of mesmerism scientifically) and neurohypnology.
- n. The influence itself; animal magnetism.
- n. The method or power of gaining control over someone's personality or actions, as in hypnosis or suggestion.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An earlier name for
hypnosisor hypnotism, the art of inducing an extraordinary or abnormal state of the nervous system, in which the actor claims to control the actions, and communicate directly with the mind, of the recipient. It is believed to be a state between sleep and wakefulness, in which a person is more susceptible to suggestion than when awake. See Animal magnetism, under magnetism.
- n. the act of inducing hypnosis
- From French mesmérisme; so called after Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), a German physician who developed the animal magnetism theory. (Wiktionary)
- After Franz Mesmer. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It were impossible, in a space like ours, to give even an outline of the different species of waren and their strange practices, part of which would seem to be akin to what we call mesmerism and clairvoyance, with the addition of spells and sacrifices.”
“That this power, which we call mesmerism, was also known to the priests of ancient Egypt, is supposed to be proved by carvings on the temples of priests making the passes with their hands, opposite other figures, to produce the sleep; a circumstance which has been recounted as proving a connection between the ancient religion in Egypt, and some unknown faith formerly prevalent in India, at the time the temples of Elephanta, Kennery, and others were built.”
“As Tatar has observed, it was no accident, given the roots of psychoanalysis in mesmerism and hypnosis, that Freud should so often have had recourse to the vocabulary of hydraulics and electromagnetism in formulating his metapsychology (43-44).”
“No. What is commonly called mesmerism could not do this; but there may be a power akin to mesmerism, and superior to itthe power that in the old days was called Magic.”
“No. What is commonly called mesmerism could not do this; but there may be a power akin to mesmerism, and superior to it, -- the power that in the old days was called Magic.”
“No. What is commonly called mesmerism could not do this; but there may be a power akin to mesmerism, and superior to it -- the power that in the old days was called Magic.”
“There and then he deliberately set himself to resist mesmerism, which is the East's chief weapon.”
“In the first instance it was called mesmerism, then animal magnetism, while to-day, when it has forced its way through incredulity, distrust, and opposition of all sorts, and come to the front in very truth, it faces us as a power which bids fair to be more and more with us as time goes on under the name of Hypnotism.”
“I have heard of such things at home; they are called mesmerism and clairvoyance.”
“But the repetitiveness of Seidel's autopilot rhythms is so grating: Seidel achieves a kind of mesmerism, but there's no range.”
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With bows of great respect to Connie Willis, author of "Bellwether" and other wonderful books.
I've been saving these words FOR YEARS. Now, I've found Wordie
a couple words
Words from the novel by Thornton Wilder.
Hopefully, I'll be using this site for more than one year. It will be fun then to look back and see what new words I found worthy of notice in any given year.
All words spotted in 2008...
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