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[bih-wich-ing] /bɪˈwɪtʃ ɪŋ/
enchanting; charming; fascinating.
Origin of bewitching
First recorded in 1555-65; bewitch + -ing2
Related forms
bewitchingly, adverb
unbewitching, adjective
unbewitchingly, adverb


[bih-wich] /bɪˈwɪtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to affect by witchcraft or magic; cast a spell over.
to enchant; charm; fascinate:
The painter bewitched the crowd with his latest work.
verb (used without object)
to cause someone to be enchanted; cast a spell over someone:
She lost her power to bewitch.
First recorded in 1175-1225, bewitch is from the Middle English word biwicchen. See be-, witch
Related forms
bewitcher, noun
bewitchery, noun
bewitchingness, noun
bewitchment, noun
unbewitched, adjective
2. captivate, enrapture, transport. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bewitching
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Countess bestowed on me one of her most bewitching smiles.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • I dared not go near her lest they should think I was bewitching her.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • And Miss Van Harlem, in a bewitching wrapper, sat on the lounge and admired.

  • Then she favored me with another nod and a most bewitching smile.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The most exacting and bewitching of all professions was clamouring for him again.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • "But I really don't think this," said she, with a bewitching smile.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • Her pretty dissembling is sure proof, but all concur in its bewitching seeming.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
British Dictionary definitions for bewitching


verb (transitive)
to attract and fascinate; enchant
to cast a spell over
Derived Forms
bewitching, adjective
bewitchingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13 bewicchen; see be-, witch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bewitching



c.1200, biwicchen, from be- + Old English wiccian "to enchant, to practice witchcraft" (see witch). Literal at first, figurative sense of "to fascinate" is from 1520s. *Bewiccian may well have existed in Old English, but it is not attested. Related: Bewitched; bewitching; bewitchingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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