- Theology. a divinely conferred gift or power.
- a spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people.
- the special virtue of an office, function, position, etc., that confers or is thought to confer on the person holding it an unusual ability for leadership, worthiness of veneration, or the like.
Origin of charisma
SynonymsSee more synonyms for charisma on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for charisma
The charisma and brand of the artist itself becomes a kind of furniture.Sneer and Clothing in Miami: Inside The $3 Billion Woodstock of Contemporary Art
December 6, 2014
Dostum was a natural soldier and a good leader whose troops admired his charisma and tough military approach.The Warlord Who Defines Afghanistan: An Excerpt From Bruce Riedel’s ’What We Won’
July 27, 2014
Successful politicians seek to marry a triumvirate of charisma, certitude, and leadership.The Ugly Truth About Ugly Politicians
July 26, 2014
Her charisma was too much, too overshadowing for the Royal model as it exists even now.
But the reason Schwarzenegger became America's biggest movie star was ultimately about more than charisma.Is This the End of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Comeback?
March 30, 2014
She really had a lot of charisma -- you didn't want to laugh at her, you just wanted to laugh with her.Little Brother
- a special personal quality or power of an individual making him capable of influencing or inspiring large numbers of people
- a quality inherent in a thing which inspires great enthusiasm and devotion
- Christianity a divinely bestowed power or talent
Word Origin and History for charisma
"gift of leadership, power of authority," c.1930, from German, used in this sense by Max Weber (1864-1920) in "Wirtschaft u. Gesellschaft" (1922), from Greek kharisma "favor, divine gift," from kharizesthai "to show favor to," from kharis "grace, beauty, kindness" (Charis was the name of one of the three attendants of Aphrodite) related to khairein "to rejoice at," from PIE root *gher- "to desire, like" (see hortatory). More mundane sense of "personal charm" recorded by 1959.
Earlier, the word had been used in English with a sense of "grace, talent from God" (1875), directly from Latinized Greek; and in the form charism (plural charismata) it is attested with this sense in English from 1640s. Middle English, meanwhile, had karisme "spiritual gift, divine grace" (c.1500).
Extraordinary power and appeal of personality; natural ability to inspire a large following.