- to attract and hold attentively by a unique power, personal charm, unusual nature, or some other special quality; enthrall: a vivacity that fascinated the audience.
- to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure.
- to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, as through terror: The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit.
- Obsolete. to bewitch.
- Obsolete. to cast under a spell by a look.
- to capture the interest or hold the attention.
Origin of fascinate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for fascinate on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fascinate
His conservatism, which is more of a cultural than political kidney, seems to fascinate, delight or detract critics.Whit Stillman on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Barcelona’, His New Amazon Series, and the Myth of the Ugly Expat
August 10, 2014
The performances that shook Kansas City's underground culture decades ago still continues to fascinate onlookers today.Private Birthday Party: A Look at Kansas City’s Long Lost Drag Queens
April 9, 2014
The region continues to fascinate me and the number of interesting producers keeps growing and growing.What to Drink in 2014: 13 Chefs and Critics Picks
January 11, 2014
What does fascinate Jünger, and about which he has the most interesting things to say, is the issue of physical courage.David's Book Club: Storm of Steel
July 18, 2012
In death as in life fashion editor and muse Isabella Blow continues to fascinate.A Troubled Fashion Icon
November 30, 2010
Her singing especially seemed to enchant and fascinate the girl.Weighed and Wanting
He wished to try to fascinate her again, but she quieted him with a movement of her hands.The Dream
The subject of cannibals seemed especially to fascinate her.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
I'll tell you this much, there are implications about this case that fascinate me!We're Friends, Now
But the sound of Peter's narrative seemed to fascinate—to hypnotize him.The Vagrant Duke
- to attract and delight by arousing interest or curiosityhis stories fascinated me for hours
- to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
- archaic to put under a spell
Word Origin and History for fascinate
1590s, "bewitch, enchant," from Middle French fasciner (14c.), from Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare "bewitch, enchant, fascinate," from fascinus "spell, witchcraft," of uncertain origin. Possibly from Greek baskanos "bewitcher, sorcerer," with form influenced by Latin fari "speak" (see fame (n.)).
The Greek word might be from a Thracian equivalent of Greek phaskein "to say;" cf. also enchant, and German besprechen "to charm," from sprechen "to speak." Earliest used of witches and of serpents, who were said to be able to cast a spell by a look that rendered one unable to move or resist. Sense of "delight, attract" is first recorded 1815. Related: Fascinated; fascinating.