from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To capture and hold the interest and attention of. synonym: charm.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To deprive of the ability to escape or move, usually by the power of a look. Used of serpents.
  • intransitive verb Obsolete To bewitch.
  • intransitive verb To capture and hold someone's interest and attention.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Latin fascināre, fascināt-, to cast a spell on, from fascinum, an evil spell, a phallic-shaped amulet.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word fascinate.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.