- 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.
- to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure.
- to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, as through terror: The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit.
- Obsolete. to bewitch.
- Obsolete. to cast under a spell by a look.
- to capture the interest or hold the attention.
Origin of fascinate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fascinated
They wrote about subjects that they knew intimately, or that troubled or fascinated them, which is what all novelists do.The 2014 Novel of the Year
December 29, 2014
But people were fascinated with what we were doing, and what we were shooting.#Setinthestreet: Your Street Corner Is Their Art Project
December 24, 2014
Hitchcock was fascinated when I pointed out the similarity, and considered it at some length.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
I wanted to ask the question I think every mother who is fascinated by the ins and outs of the real case wants answered.Amanda Knox: A Mother’s Obsession
November 26, 2014
I think people are fascinated by your creative relationship with people like her.The Rise of Jack Antonoff, the Taylor Swift Whisperer
November 14, 2014
The fairy godmother romance of it fascinated her girlish mind.Viviette
William J. Locke
She straightened her young form and stared, fascinated, at the door.Quaint Courtships
She went with him to haul the grain to mill and was fascinated by the big scales.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Morton, in a word, was fascinated; this man was the only friend he had made.Night and Morning, Complete
She rested and fascinated him at once by her strength and homely charm.Tiverton Tales
- to attract and delight by arousing interest or curiosityhis stories fascinated me for hours
- to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
- archaic to put under a spell
Word Origin and History for fascinated
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.