infatuate

[ verb in-fach-oo-eyt; adjective, noun in-fach-oo-it, -eyt ]
/ verb ɪnˈfætʃ uˌeɪt; adjective, noun ɪnˈfætʃ u ɪt, -ˌeɪt /

verb (used with object), in·fat·u·at·ed, in·fat·u·at·ing.

to inspire or possess with a foolish or unreasoning passion, as of love.
to affect with folly; make foolish or fatuous.

adjective

infatuated.

noun

a person who is infatuated.

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Origin of infatuate

1425–75; late Middle English <Latin infatuātus, past participle of infatuāre.See in-2, fatuous, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM infatuate

in·fat·u·a·tor, nounself-in·fat·u·at·ed, adjectiveun·in·fat·u·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does infatuate mean?

To infatuate is to strongly affect someone in a way that causes them to be absorbed with an extreme passion, especially in a way that makes them foolish or unreasonable about it.

Infatuate is especially used in a passive way—we usually say that a person is infatuated by someone or something, rather than saying that someone or something infatuates a person.

The state of being infatuated is infatuation. This is often used to refer to the state of someone who has fallen in love with a person without really knowing them. But it can refer to any obsessive or passionate focus, such as on an activity or goal. A person who’s affected this way can be described with the adjective infatuated.

The word infatuation can also refer to the object of this focus, as in Who’s that you’re staring at—your latest infatuation? Someone or something considered an infatuation can be described as infatuating—meaning it has the power to infatuate.

Very rarely, infatuate can be used as an adjective meaning infatuated or as a noun meaning an infatuated person.

Example: She’s usually infatuated by her crushes to the point that she can’t see their flaws.

Where does infatuate come from?

The first records of the word infatuate as a verb come from the 1500s. It comes from the Latin verb infatuāre, from fatuus, meaning “fatuous” or “foolish.”

When it’s used in the context of a romantic interest, an infatuation is often like an intense crush—someone who infatuates you consumes your every thought. The word is often used in a critical way that implies that such an interest is foolish or impulsive, as in You’re confusing being in love with being infatuated. Describing someone with the adjective infatuated implies that they’re not thinking straight.

Still, attraction to someone often begins with infatuation, and the same can be said for hobbies that you develop a passion for. In this context, infatuate isn’t usually used negatively. It simply means that something has inspired a consuming passion or fascination, especially one that’s in its beginning stages, as in My kids go through a lot of interests, and these days it’s robotics that they’re infatuated with.

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What are some other forms related to infatuate

  • infatuated (past tense verb, adjective)
  • infatuating (continuous tense verb, adjective)
  • infatuation (noun)

What are some synonyms for infatuate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with infatuate

What are some words that often get used in discussing infatuate?

How is infatuate used in real life?

When used in the context of a romantic interest, infatuate is usually used negatively. When it’s used in the context of a passion or fascination with an activity or hobby, it’s usually used more positively.

 

 

Try using infatuate!

Is infatuate used correctly in the following sentence?

I was infatuated by her immediately, and I couldn’t stop thinking about her for weeks.

Example sentences from the Web for infatuate

British Dictionary definitions for infatuate

infatuate

verb (ɪnˈfætjʊˌeɪt) (tr)

to inspire or fill with foolish, shallow, or extravagant passion
to cause to act foolishly

adjective (ɪnˈfætjʊɪt, -ˌeɪt)

an archaic word for infatuated

noun (ɪnˈfætjʊɪt, -ˌeɪt)

literary a person who is infatuated

Word Origin for infatuate

C16: from Latin infatuāre, from in- ² + fatuus fatuous
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