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90s Slang You Should Know


[kap-tuh-veyt] /ˈkæp təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), captivated, captivating.
to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant:
Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him.
Obsolete. to capture; subjugate.
Origin of captivate
1520-30; < Late Latin captīvātus (past participle of captīvāre to take captive), equivalent to Latin captīv(us) captive + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
captivatingly, adverb
captivation, noun
captivative, adjective
captivator, noun
uncaptivated, adjective
uncaptivating, adjective
uncaptivative, adjective
1. fascinate, bewitch, charm. 2. subdue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for captivate
Historical Examples
  • You are enamored of them; they captivate you with their uncouth glamors; towards them you are drawn, eh?

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • To captivate the affections was a secondary use of the phrase.

  • During the evening she exerted herself, as usual, to captivate him, and bring him to her feet.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • It was, indeed, just the spot to captivate a youthful and susceptible fancy.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The whole story had a certain flavor about it which would be sure to captivate such a nature as his.

    Sue, A Little Heroine L. T. Meade
  • I captivate—just as I fish, hunt, sketch, or shoot—to amuse myself.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • The book is ‘executed’ with a vivacity, a dash, a ‘go,’ that will captivate any reader who is willing to meet the author halfway.

    The Bibliotaph Leon H. Vincent
  • Just the kind of girl I should suppose likely to captivate poor Edward.

    Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
  • Coquettishly she plied all her wiles to captivate poor Pommer anew.

    A Little Garrison Fritz von der Kyrburg
  • These objects which captivate us are what we were, what we must be again some day.

    The Aesthetical Essays Friedrich Schiller
British Dictionary definitions for captivate


verb (transitive)
to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant
an obsolete word for capture
Derived Forms
captivatingly, adverb
captivation, noun
captivator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin captivāre, from captīvuscaptive
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 captivate

1520s, "to enthrall with charm," from Late Latin captivatus, past participle of captivare "to take, capture," from captivus (see captive). Literal sense (1550s) is rare or obsolete in English, which uses capture (q.v.). Latin captare "to take, hold" also had a transferred sense of "to entice, entrap, allure." Related: Captivated; captivating; captivatingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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