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captivate

[kap-tuh-veyt]
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verb (used with object), cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing.
  1. to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him.
  2. Obsolete. to capture; subjugate.
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Origin of captivate

1520–30; < Late Latin captīvātus (past participle of captīvāre to take captive), equivalent to Latin captīv(us) captive + -ātus -ate1
Related formscap·ti·vat·ing·ly, adverbcap·ti·va·tion, nouncap·ti·va·tive, adjectivecap·ti·va·tor, nounun·cap·ti·vat·ed, adjectiveun·cap·ti·vat·ing, adjectiveun·cap·ti·va·tive, adjective

Synonyms

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1. fascinate, bewitch, charm. 2. subdue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for captivating

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • What he said was so wise, so well-balanced, and so captivating.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • If he is so grave, I fear I have no chance of captivating him.

    The Contrast

    Royall Tyler

  • It was in these quarters of an hour that she succeeded in captivating me, heart and soul.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • I wear low cut evening gowns, the most captivating I can afford.

    Possessed

    Cleveland Moffett

  • Lithe and sinuous as a panther, he rode with a perfect ease that was captivating.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine


British Dictionary definitions for captivating

captivate

verb (tr)
  1. to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant
  2. an obsolete word for capture
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Derived Formscaptivatingly, adverbcaptivation, nouncaptivator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin captivāre, from captīvus captive
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

Word Origin and History for captivating

captivate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper