- charnel house
Origin of charming
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of charm1
Examples from the Web for charming
Legs McNeil, of Punk magazine fame, once called him “cute” and “charming.”‘All Good Cretins Go to Heaven’: Dee Dee Ramone’s Twisted Punk Paintings|Melissa Leon|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Alexander is everything Turing is not—gregarious, flirty, and, you guessed it, charming.From ‘The Good Wife’ to ‘The Imitation Game’: Matthew Goode Wages His Charm Offensive|Kevin Fallon|November 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For those who have a problem with that, she offered a charming, subtle middle finger.Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins’s Brain Feels Like Mush|Sujay Kumar|November 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Let me be clear, as the president would say: Obama is telegenic and charming.
“Somebody said to me after the premiere, ‘You guys have the most charming Republicans going,’” Molloy remembers.Inside the Political Fun House: How ‘Alpha House’ Became Amazon’s First Big Hit|Kevin Fallon|October 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This charming little riddle is always a great favorite with children.Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales|David Goodger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Well, I must be running along and it's good to see your charming family.The Lost Wagon|James Arthur Kjelgaard
The Princess was a young and charming lady, very handsome, but in a state of constant depression.Jennie Baxter, Journalist|Robert Barr
A week passed away during the visit of the charming stranger, and Hetty had never once seen Miss Gaythorne.Hetty Gray|Rosa Mulholland
This is what that charming Saint Francois de Sales calls somewhere "les pretres blancs-becs," callow priests.Les Misrables|Victor Hugo
Word Origin for charm
Word Origin for charm
c.1300, "to recite or cast a magic spell," from Old French charmer (13c.) "to enchant, to fill (someone) with desire (for something); to protect, cure, treat; to maltreat, harm," from Late Latin carminare, from Latin carmen (see charm (n.)). In Old French used alike of magical and non-magical activity. In English, "to win over by treating pleasingly, delight" from mid-15c. Related: Charmed; charming. Charmed (short for I am charmed) as a conventional reply to a greeting or meeting is attested by 1825.
c.1300, "incantation, magic charm," from Old French charme (12c.) "magic charm, magic, spell; incantation, song, lamentation," from Latin carmen "song, verse, enchantment, religious formula," from canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)), with dissimilation of -n- to -r- before -m- in intermediate form *canmen (for a similar evolution, see Latin germen "germ," from *genmen). The notion is of chanting or reciting verses of magical power.
A yet stronger power than that of herb or stone lies in the spoken word, and all nations use it both for blessing and cursing. But these, to be effective, must be choice, well knit, rhythmic words (verba concepta), must have lilt and tune; hence all that is strong in the speech wielded by priest, physician, magician, is allied to the forms of poetry. [Jacob Grimm, "Teutonic Mythology" (transl. Stallybrass), 1883]
Sense of "pleasing quality" evolved 17c. Meaning "small trinket fastened to a watch-chain, etc." first recorded 1865. Quantum physics sense is from 1964. To work like a charm (figuratively) is recorded by 1824.
In addition to the idioms beginning with charm
- charmed life
- charm the pants off
- (charm the) pants off
- work like a charm