• synonyms


[mez-muh-rahyz, mes-]
verb (used with object), mes·mer·ized, mes·mer·iz·ing.
  1. to hypnotize.
  2. to spellbind; fascinate.
  3. to compel by fascination.
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Also especially British, mes·mer·ise.

Origin of mesmerize

First recorded in 1820–30; mesmer(ism) + -ize
Related formsmes·mer·i·za·tion, nounmes·mer·iz·er, nounun·mes·mer·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mesmerise

Historical Examples

  • It is my intention, therefore, shortly to mesmerise one of my pupils.

    The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • I shall then mesmerise myself in a manner which has become easy to me.

  • It appeared to mesmerise him, and to render him unaware of outward things.

    The Green Carnation

    Robert Smythe Hichens

  • I have had people try to mesmerise me a dozen times, and never with the least result.

    In the South Seas

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • She said he really did mesmerise her, and that she could see in her sleep.

British Dictionary definitions for mesmerise



verb (tr)
  1. a former word for hypnotize
  2. to hold (someone) as if spellbound
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Derived Formsmesmerization or mesmerisation, nounmesmerizer or mesmeriser, noun
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 mesmerise


chiefly British English spelling of mesmerize (v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: Mesmerised; mesmerising.

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1829, back-formation from mesmerism. Transferred sense of "enthrall" is first attested 1862. Related: Mesmerized; mesmerizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper