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attract

[uh-trakt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to draw by a physical force causing or tending to cause to approach, adhere, or unite; pull (opposed to repel): The gravitational force of the earth attracts smaller bodies to it.
  2. to draw by appealing to the emotions or senses, by stimulating interest, or by exciting admiration; allure; invite: to attract attention; to attract admirers by one's charm.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to possess or exert the power of attraction.
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Origin of attract

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin attractus drawn to (past participle of attrahere), equivalent to at- at- + trac- (variant stem of trahere to draw) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsat·tract·a·ble, adjectiveat·tract·a·ble·ness, nounat·tract·ing·ly, adverbat·trac·tor, at·tract·er, nounre·at·tract, verb (used with object)un·at·tract·a·ble, adjectiveun·at·tract·ed, adjectiveun·at·tract·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for attract

draw, engage, entice, captivate, fascinate, send, bring, kill, interest, intrigue, invite, bait, slay, lure, inveigle, hook, beguile, allure, beckon, court

Examples from the Web for attract

Contemporary Examples of attract

Historical Examples of attract


British Dictionary definitions for attract

attract

verb (mainly tr)
  1. to draw (notice, a crowd of observers, etc) to oneself by conspicuous behaviour or appearance (esp in the phrase attract attention)
  2. (also intr) to exert a force on (a body) that tends to cause an approach or oppose a separationthe gravitational pull of the earth attracts objects to it
  3. to possess some property that pulls or draws (something) towards itselfjam attracts wasps
  4. (also intr) to exert a pleasing, alluring, or fascinating influence (upon); be attractive (to)
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Derived Formsattractable, adjectiveattractor or attracter, noun

Word Origin for attract

C15: from Latin attrahere to draw towards, from trahere to pull
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 attract

v.

early 15c., from Latin attractus, past participle of attrahere "to draw, pull; to attract," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + trahere "draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Originally a medical term for the body's tendency to absorb fluids, nourishment, etc., or for a poultice treatment to "draw out" diseased matter (1560s). Of the ability of people or animals to draw others to them, it is attested from 1560s; of physical forces (magnetism, etc.), from c.1600 (implied in attraction). Related: Attracted; attracting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper