verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- charm offensive,
- charm quark,
- charm school,
- charm the pants off,
Origin of charm1
Examples from the Web for charmless
Right off the highway, in a charmless parking lot, it gave off no hint of luxury.
In the castle the Duchess sat in her sombre apartments which she had made as dull, as dreary, as charmless as herself.A German Pompadour|Marie Hay
A girl must therefore be charming as well as beautiful, for a charming girl will never become a charmless wife.Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners|B.G. Jefferis
Twice again Mr. Varick called upon her mother, in the charmless upstairs sitting-room of their boarding house.The Adventures of a Widow|Edgar Fawcett
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