cap·​ti·​vat·​ing ˈkap-tə-ˌvā-tiŋ How to pronounce captivating (audio)
: charmingly or irresistibly appealing
a captivating aroma
It's an utterly exotic combination of flavors, and a completely captivating one.Howard Seftel
Books with captivating stories and bright, uncomplicated artwork will enchant the very young without being too demanding.Ed Zotti
A captivating storyteller, he conveys the cozy domesticity of the small-time growers as well as the Technicolor style of life of the big deal-makers.Alison Friesinger
captivatingly adverb
a captivatingly sweet voice
Each room is named for a month, and January through December are captivatingly filled with fanciful hearts, flowers, and vines that trail over the beds, chests, and wardrobes. Mimi Elder

Examples of captivating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the author’s story about his first new car, a quotidian 1978 Honda Accord, reminds us that a car-person’s life experiences can be utterly captivating irrespective of the marque, its stature, or even its scale. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 30 Nov. 2023 Twice per year since the Paris museum opened in March 2022, La Galerie Dior restages its captivating presentation of archive creations, art, objects, and documents, which span Monsieur Dior’s upbringing to collections that bowed mere months ago. Amy Verner, Vogue, 23 Nov. 2023 Schafer’s latest Marni look certainly is a captivating one. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 16 Nov. 2023 Its warm and captivating aroma has garnered attention on TikTok, with users reporting being stopped on the streets to inquire about the fragrance. Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023 Using unusual metrics in your presentation can also be very captivating. Olga Lykova, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Below are just a few fascinating facts about these captivating (if sometimes creepy) creatures. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 As an unusual but captivating star of many blockbusters, and the centerpiece of endless internet memes, Cage has persisted in the cultural zeitgeist in some form or another for several decades, even as his status as an A-list actor has fluctuated. David Sims, The Atlantic, 7 Nov. 2023 Throughout the show, the supporting characters, namely Conchita, Patricia, Lizzy and Mabel, have much more captivating storylines, which would have made for an intricately complex narrative should the trio have been sidelined, allowing these ladies to take up additional space. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1675, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of captivating was in 1675

Dictionary Entries Near captivating

Cite this Entry

“Captivating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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