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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 for captivate

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


Examples from the Web for captivation

Historical Examples of captivation

  • The marvel of their captivation lay in the spell of the enchanter.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • There was a captivation in its promise of adventure that he felt to be irresistible.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • He still acknowledged that her beauty was the most complete; but he found in Camilla a variety that was captivation.

    Camilla

    Fanny Burney

  • If all the varied hues of captivation her changing humor wore were but the deep practised lures of coquetry?

  • Manner is perhaps more seducing than mere beauty; but where they are allied, the captivation is irresistible.

    Rattlin the Reefer

    Edward Howard


British Dictionary definitions for captivation

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 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 captivation

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