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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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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

gripgratifydazzlebewitchfascinateenthrallseducemesmerizepleasedelighthypnotizebeguileentertaincharmenraptureintrigueinfatuateentrancelurewin

Examples from the Web for captivate

Historical Examples

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

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • She seemed born, not only to captivate the giddy, but to turn the heads of the sage.

  • The effort to captivate where there is no stake to win, means mischief.

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • I captivate—just as I fish, hunt, sketch, or shoot—to amuse myself.

    Barrington

    Charles James Lever

  • And his mind was devilishly clever enough to captivate my fancy.

    Possessed

    Cleveland Moffett


British Dictionary definitions for captivate

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 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