captivate

play
verb cap·ti·vate \ˈkap-tə-ˌvāt\

Definition of captivate

captivated

;

captivating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  seize, capture

  3. 2 :  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.>

captivation

play \ˌkap-tə-ˈvā-shən\ noun

captivator

play \ˈkap-tə-ˌvā-tər\ noun

Examples of captivate in a sentence

  1. The play has been captivating audiences for years.

  2. <the clown captivated the toddlers with his balloon tricks>

Origin and Etymology of captivate

see captive


First Known Use: circa 1555

Synonym Discussion of 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>.

CAPTIVATE Defined for English Language Learners

captivate

play
verb cap·ti·vate \ˈkap-tə-ˌvāt\

Definition of captivate for English Language Learners

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


CAPTIVATE Defined for Kids

captivate

play
verb cap·ti·vate \ˈkap-tə-ˌvāt\

Definition of captivate for Students

captivated

captivating

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up captivate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a principle or belief held by a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ