Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

charisma

[kuh-riz-muh]
See more synonyms for charisma on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural cha·ris·ma·ta [kuh-riz-muh-tuh] /kəˈrɪz mə tə/.
  1. Theology. a divinely conferred gift or power.
  2. a spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people.
  3. 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.
Show More
Also char·ism [kar-iz-uhm] /ˈkær ɪz əm/.

Origin of charisma

1635–45; < Late Latin < Greek, equivalent to char- (base of cháris favor, charízesthai to favor; akin to yearn, exhort) + -isma -ism

Synonyms for charisma

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for charisma

glamour, magnetism, allure, pizzazz, dazzle, fascination, flash, witchcraft, appeal, witchery, IT, something

Examples from the Web for charisma

Contemporary Examples of charisma

Historical Examples of charisma

  • She really had a lot of charisma -- you didn't want to laugh at her, you just wanted to laugh with her.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow


British Dictionary definitions for charisma

charisma

charism (ˈkærɪzəm)

noun
  1. a special personal quality or power of an individual making him capable of influencing or inspiring large numbers of people
  2. a quality inherent in a thing which inspires great enthusiasm and devotion
  3. Christianity a divinely bestowed power or talent
Show More
Derived Formscharismatic (ˌkærɪzˈmætɪk), adjective

Word Origin for charisma

C17: from Church Latin, from Greek kharisma, from kharis grace, favour
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 charisma

n.

"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).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

charisma in Culture

charisma

[(kuh-riz-muh)]

Extraordinary power and appeal of personality; natural ability to inspire a large following.

Show More

Note

Political leaders such as John F. Kennedy, religious leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and entertainment figures such as Greta Garbo have all been described as charismatic.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.