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fascinate

[fas-uh-neyt]
verb (used with object), fas·ci·nat·ed, fas·ci·nat·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure.
  3. to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, as through terror: The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit.
  4. Obsolete. to bewitch.
  5. Obsolete. to cast under a spell by a look.
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verb (used without object), fas·ci·nat·ed, fas·ci·nat·ing.
  1. to capture the interest or hold the attention.
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Origin of fascinate

1590–1600; < Latin fascinātus, past participle of fascināre to bewitch, cast a spell on, verbal derivative of fascinum evil spell, bewitchment
Related formsfas·ci·nat·ed·ly, adverbfas·ci·na·tive, adjectivehalf-fas·ci·nat·ed, adjectivequa·si-fas·ci·nat·ed, adjectiveun·fas·ci·nat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for fascinate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for fascinative

fascinate

verb (mainly tr)
  1. to attract and delight by arousing interest or curiosityhis stories fascinated me for hours
  2. to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
  3. archaic to put under a spell
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Derived Formsfascinatedly, adverbfascination, nounfascinative, adjective

Word Origin for fascinate

C16: from Latin fascināre, from fascinum a bewitching

usage

A person can be fascinated by or with another person or thing. It is correct to speak of someone's fascination with a person or thing; one can also say a person or thing has a fascination for someone
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 fascinative

fascinate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper