cap·​ti·​vate | \ ˈkap-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce captivate (audio) \
captivated; captivating

Definition of captivate

transitive verb

1 : to influence and dominate by some special charm, art, or trait and with an irresistible appeal We were captivated by her beauty. The scenery captivated our attention.
2 archaic : seize, capture

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Other Words from captivate

captivation \ ˌkap-​tə-​ˈvā-​shən How to pronounce captivate (audio) \ noun
captivator \ ˈkap-​tə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce captivate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for captivate

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 captivate in a Sentence

The play has been captivating audiences for years. the clown captivated the toddlers with his balloon tricks
Recent Examples on the Web Filmed at scenic locations across Philadelphia, many of which are outdoors, the shorts are an arresting combination of transportive cinematography and exquisite artistry guaranteed to captivate, no matter the viewer. Ariana Marsh, Harper's BAZAAR, "A New Streaming Platform for Dance Is Revolutionizing Virtual Performance," 28 Dec. 2020 The new construction near Belmont Park, built by Elijah Kord Custom Homes, will captivate buyers with their mix of transitional style and modern flair, according to Alex Perry and Elizabeth Wisdom of Allie Beth Allman & Associates. Dallas News, "New Dallas development near Belmont Park featured," 27 Dec. 2020 This time-traveling tale will fill your heart with magic and wonder and captivate you from beginning to end. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "Start reading more in 2021 with Amazon’s best books of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 And the Bay Area has continued to churn out major new companies that captivate investors. Aaron Tilley, WSJ, "Covid-19 Pandemic Loosens Silicon Valley’s Tight Grip on Tech Industry," 13 Dec. 2020 Authorized by the director himself, this is a cinematic journey that will amaze and captivate. John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press, "Holiday gift guide 2020: The best books bring comfort and joy," 7 Dec. 2020 Few could've likely guessed that a period piece about a young chess prodigy would be the one that would captivate audiences the most this year. Natalie Morin,, "Beth Harmon Would Want You To Watch These Movies After The Queen’s Gambit Finale," 3 Dec. 2020 True artistry is the only way to describe Shani Crowe, a boundary-breaking braid stylist who will captivate you with her work. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "21 Stunning Cornrow Styles to Save to Your Hair Moodboard," 2 Dec. 2020 Lyden collaborated with Marymount's curriculum coordinator Jillian Pagliocca to develop a set of lessons that would not only be informative, but engaging enough to captivate a group of middle schoolers with no prior knowledge of architecture. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Program Is Teaching Life Lessons to Middle Schoolers Through Architecture," 11 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of captivate

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for captivate

see captive entry 1

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Time Traveler for captivate

Time Traveler

The first known use of captivate was circa 1555

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Statistics for captivate

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Captivate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for captivate


How to pronounce captivate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of captivate

: to attract and hold the attention of (someone) by being interesting, pretty, etc.


cap·​ti·​vate | \ ˈkap-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce captivate (audio) \
captivated; captivating

Kids Definition of captivate

: to fascinate by some special charm The play is captivating audiences.

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Comments on captivate

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