Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

fascinate

[fas-uh-neyt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), fas·ci·nat·ed, fas·ci·nat·ing.
  1. to attract and hold attentively by a unique power, personal charm, unusual nature, or some other special quality; enthrall: a vivacity that fascinated the audience.
  2. to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure.
  3. to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, as through terror: The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit.
  4. Obsolete. to bewitch.
  5. Obsolete. to cast under a spell by a look.
Show More
verb (used without object), fas·ci·nat·ed, fas·ci·nat·ing.
  1. to capture the interest or hold the attention.
Show More

Origin of fascinate

1590–1600; < Latin fascinātus, past participle of fascināre to bewitch, cast a spell on, verbal derivative of fascinum evil spell, bewitchment
Related formsfas·ci·nat·ed·ly, adverbfas·ci·na·tive, adjectivehalf-fas·ci·nat·ed, adjectivequa·si-fas·ci·nat·ed, adjectiveun·fas·ci·nat·ed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. bewitch, enchant, spellbind, charm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fascinate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her singing especially seemed to enchant and fascinate the girl.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He wished to try to fascinate her again, but she quieted him with a movement of her hands.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • The subject of cannibals seemed especially to fascinate her.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • I'll tell you this much, there are implications about this case that fascinate me!

  • But the sound of Peter's narrative seemed to fascinate—to hypnotize him.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs


British Dictionary definitions for fascinate

fascinate

verb (mainly tr)
  1. to attract and delight by arousing interest or curiosityhis stories fascinated me for hours
  2. to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
  3. archaic to put under a spell
Show More
Derived Formsfascinatedly, adverbfascination, nounfascinative, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin fascināre, from fascinum a bewitching

usage

A person can be fascinated by or with another person or thing. It is correct to speak of someone's fascination with a person or thing; one can also say a person or thing has a fascination for someone
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 fascinate

v.

1590s, "bewitch, enchant," from Middle French fasciner (14c.), from Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare "bewitch, enchant, fascinate," from fascinus "spell, witchcraft," of uncertain origin. Possibly from Greek baskanos "bewitcher, sorcerer," with form influenced by Latin fari "speak" (see fame (n.)).

The Greek word might be from a Thracian equivalent of Greek phaskein "to say;" cf. also enchant, and German besprechen "to charm," from sprechen "to speak." Earliest used of witches and of serpents, who were said to be able to cast a spell by a look that rendered one unable to move or resist. Sense of "delight, attract" is first recorded 1815. Related: Fascinated; fascinating.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper