[ mez-muh-riz-uh m, mes- ]
/ ˈmɛz məˌrɪz əm, ˈmɛs- /


hypnosis as induced, according to F. A. Mesmer, through animal magnetism.
a compelling attraction; fascination.

Origin of mesmerism

First recorded in 1775–85; Mesmer + -ism
Related formsmes·mer·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mesmerism

British Dictionary definitions for mesmerism


/ (ˈmɛzməˌrɪzəm) /

noun psychol

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

Word Origin for mesmerism

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for mesmerism


[ mĕzmə-rĭz′əm, mĕs- ]


A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination.
Hypnotic induction that is believed to involve animal magnetism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.