verb at·tract \ ə-ˈtrakt \
|Updated on: 11 Aug 2018

Definition of attract

attracted; attracting; attracts
: to cause to approach or adhere: such as
a : to pull to or draw toward oneself or itself
  • A magnet attracts iron.
b : to draw by appeal to natural or excited interest, emotion, or aesthetic sense : entice
  • attract attention
  • The museum attracts visitors.
: to exercise attraction
  • Opposites attract.


play \-ˈtrak-tər\ noun

Examples of attract in a Sentence

  1. The company has a difficult time attracting good employees because of its poor pay and benefits.

  2. The chance to travel around the world attracted me to a career as a flight attendant.

  3. The museum attracts visitors from all over the world.

  4. The scent will attract certain insects.

  5. Certain insects are attracted by the scent.

  6. Her bright blue eyes attracted me.

  7. The bird's colorful feathers are used to attract a mate.

Recent Examples of attract from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attract.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of attract

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ATTRACT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of attract for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone) to choose to do or be involved in something

  • : to cause (someone) to like or be interested in something

  • : to cause (someone or something) to go to or move to or toward a place

ATTRACT Defined for Kids


verb at·tract \ ə-ˈtrakt \

Definition of attract for Students

attracted; attracting
1 : to draw by appealing to interest or feeling I guess we must've been talking pretty loud, because…we attracted a crowd. —Jeff Kinney, Wimpy Kid
2 : to draw to or toward something else
  • A magnet attracts iron.

Word Root of attract

The Latin word tractus, meaning “pulled” or “dragged,” gives us the root tract. Words from the Latin tractus have to do with being pulled or dragged. To attract is to pull or draw towards you. To distract is to pull someone's attention away from something. To extract is to pull one thing out of another. To subtract is to pull a portion or number away from a group or from a whole.

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