captivate

verb
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 captivation (audio) \ noun
captivator \ ˈkap-​tə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce captivator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for captivate

Synonyms

allure, beguile, bewitch, charm, enchant, fascinate, kill, magnetize, wile, witch [archaic]

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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

The move also allows WWE to further establish two distinct brands on Raw and SmackDown, ones that are immediately recognizable for their storytelling, wrestling, and ability to captivate on a weekly basis. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Exclusive: Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff Named WWE Executive Directors, Will Run WWE TV," 27 June 2019 First is the candidate’s debate performance, including the substance of their answer and ability to captivate a television audience under pressure. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "Scorecard: How the Democratic primary candidates did during their first debate," 27 June 2019 Nonetheless, Friedman was happy to see the excited response Monday from fans who were captivated by Holzhauer’s astonishing run. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "‘Jeopardy’ pledges to take ‘appropriate’ actions after leak of James Holzhauer’s loss," 4 June 2019 Plato’s Socrates is a fictional creation, intended to captivate the reader’s interest and express the author’s own ideas. Jamie James, WSJ, "‘Socrates in Love’ Review: A Vigorous, Brilliant Young Man," 17 May 2019 Close was honored with the spotlight award as actor Michael Chiklis praised the actress for her ability to captivate audiences through her roles. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Seattle Times, "Costume Designers Guild honors Ruth E. Carter, Glenn Close," 20 Feb. 2019 The disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos has captivated the country. courant.com, "Timeline: The disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos and the sprawling investigation that has followed," 4 June 2019 They were captivated by the team’s tight end coach, who was frequently teased for being just 23 years old. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Entry-Level Coaching Job That Catapulted 33-Year-Old Sean McVay to Stardom," 31 Jan. 2019 Now, with a minimal amount of hardware and investment, virtually anyone can captivate millions of listeners from across the globe. Popular Mechanics, "Start Your Own Podcast With This Expert Training Bundle," 11 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for captivate

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for captivate

The first known use of captivate was circa 1555

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More Definitions for captivate

captivate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of captivate

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

captivate

verb
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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