• synonyms


[mez-muh-riz-uh m, mes-]
See more synonyms for mesmerism on Thesaurus.com
  1. hypnosis as induced, according to F. A. Mesmer, through animal magnetism.
  2. hypnotism.
  3. a compelling attraction; fascination.
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Origin of mesmerism

First recorded in 1775–85; Mesmer + -ism
Related formsmes·mer·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mesmerism

Historical Examples

  • "It must have been done by mesmerism, I fancy," rejoined Mr. Meek.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • Animal magnetism or mesmerism had been involved in mystery and empiricism.

  • Mesmerism is a trance and seems to me almost identical with somnambulism.

  • You know what an excitement there has been about mesmerism in Paris this summer?

  • I know of no other thing in which there is so much entertainment as mesmerism.

British Dictionary definitions for mesmerism


noun psychol
  1. a hypnotic state induced by the operator's imposition of his will on that of the patient
  2. an early doctrine concerning this
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Derived Formsmesmerist, noun

Word Origin

C19: named after F. A. Mesmer (1734–1815), Austrian physician
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 mesmerism


"hypnotism," 1802, from French mesmérisme, named for Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), Austrian physician who developed a theory of animal magnetism and a mysterious body fluid which allows one person to hypnotize another. Related: Mesmerist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mesmerism in Medicine


(mĕzmə-rĭz′əm, mĕs-)
  1. A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination.
  2. Hypnotic induction that is believed to involve animal magnetism.
  3. Hypnotism.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.