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

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

Synonyms for captivate


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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 College football and its national championship always will captivate the South. Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 Finally, as is fitting for a totemic figure in the world of entertainment whose blockbusters continue to captivate millions to this day, the family signed off on a note of optimism. Vogue, 30 Mar. 2022 With its ease of access and potential of exploitation, expect more TV series to use podcast source material with in-depth stories to captivate their audiences and keep them engrossed in the universe. Josh Wilson, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Anybody paying tribute to Winehouse has plenty of tools with which to captivate, and this show offers strong musical backing and plenty of informative patter, bringing her the Amy Winehouse legacy back in some semblance of style. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 19 May 2022 Use these tips and strategies to build a reputation as a prolific speaker who can captivate audiences and make a difference in your area of expertise! Dr. April Willis, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Twenty-eight years ago, on a Friday just like today, a police pursuit began that would captivate the nation. Itzel Luna, Los Angeles Times, 17 June 2022 The potential remuneration for his name, imagine and likeness didn’t captivate him. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2022 Big waves and their manifest risks captivate far more viewers than the small to medium-sized waves on the World Championship Tour, where, to the untutored eye, all the surfers seem to be doing basically the same things. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of captivate was circa 1555

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Captivate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for captivate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on captivate

Nglish: Translation of captivate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of captivate for Arabic Speakers


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