captivate

[kap-tuh-veyt]

verb (used with object), cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing.

to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him.
Obsolete. to capture; subjugate.

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 for captivate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for captivating

Contemporary Examples of captivating

Historical Examples of captivating

  • To me there was nothing of that engaging, captivating manner which I had been taught to expect by many even of her enemies.

    Maria Edgeworth

    Helen Zimmern

  • Su-sus beauty was of a most refined style, with a captivating sweetness of voice and grace of movement.

  • The persons who liked Ruth thought her beautiful; they asserted that her countenance had in it something which was captivating.

    Horace Chase

    Constance Fenimore Woolson

  • Whoever he might be, his manner and his talk were captivating.

    The Evil Genius

    Wilkie Collins

  • A few years ago, an American woman of captivating address gained great reputation in Paris as a milliner.



British Dictionary definitions for captivating

captivate

verb (tr)

to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant
an obsolete word for capture
Derived Formscaptivatingly, adverbcaptivation, nouncaptivator, noun

Word Origin for captivate

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper