at·​tract ə-ˈtrakt How to pronounce attract (audio)
attracted; attracting; attracts

transitive verb

: to cause to approach or adhere: such as
: to pull to or draw toward oneself or itself
A magnet attracts iron.
: to draw by appeal to natural or excited interest, emotion, or aesthetic sense : entice
attract attention
The museum attracts visitors.

intransitive verb

: to exercise attraction
Opposites attract.
attractor noun
Choose the Right Synonym for attract

attract, allure, charm, captivate, fascinate, enchant mean to draw another by exerting a powerful influence.

attract applies to any degree or kind of ability to exert influence over another.

students attracted by the school's locale

allure implies an enticing by what is fair, pleasing, or seductive.

an alluring smile

charm implies the power of casting a spell over the person or thing affected and so compelling a response

charmed by their hospitality

, but it may, like captivate, suggest no more than evoking delight or admiration.

her performances captivated audiences

fascinate suggests a magical influence and tends to stress the ineffectiveness of attempts to resist.

a story that continues to fascinate children

enchant is perhaps the strongest of these terms in stressing the appeal of the agent and the degree of delight evoked in the subject.

hopelessly enchanted by her beauty

Examples of attract in a Sentence

The company has a difficult time attracting good employees because of its poor pay and benefits. The chance to travel around the world attracted me to a career as a flight attendant. The museum attracts visitors from all over the world. The scent will attract certain insects. Certain insects are attracted by the scent. Her bright blue eyes attracted me. The bird's colorful feathers are used to attract a mate.
Recent Examples on the Web Explore our new section Her work has earned her a front-row seat to the profound changes that have reshaped this slice of the Mojave Desert over the past few years, as pandemic-era policies attracted hordes of investors and new residents. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2024 May or June beetles: These beetles which are also called chafer beetles, are attracted to lights, according to the insect calendar. Abigail Celaya, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for attract 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'attract.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin attractus, past participle of attrahere, from ad- + trahere to pull, draw

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of attract was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near attract

Cite this Entry

“Attract.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


at·​tract ə-ˈtrakt How to pronounce attract (audio)
: to pull to or toward oneself or itself
a magnet attracts iron
: to draw by appealing to interest or feeling
attract attention

Middle English attracten "attract, cause to adhere," derived from Latin attrahere, literally "to draw near," from at-, ad- "to, toward" and trahere "to draw" — related to abstract, trace entry 1, trace entry 3

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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