charisma

noun
cha·​ris·​ma | \ kə-ˈriz-mə How to pronounce charisma (audio) \

Definition of charisma

1 : a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (such as a political leader) His success was largely due to his charisma.
2 : a special magnetic charm or appeal the charisma of a popular actor

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Did You Know?

The Greek word charisma means "favor" or "gift." In English, it has been used in Christian contexts since about 1640 to refer to a gift or power bestowed upon an individual by the Holy Spirit for the good of the Church. (This sense is now very rare.) The earliest nonreligious use of "charisma" that we know of occurred in a German text, a 1922 publication by sociologist Max Weber. The sense began appearing in English contexts shortly after Weber’s work was published.

Examples of charisma in a Sentence

The candidate was lacking in charisma. His success is largely due to his charisma.
Recent Examples on the Web Although Batigol did admit that Messi is probably as good technically as Maradona, the former Roma and Fiorentina striker claimed that the Barcelona star lacked the charisma to reach El Diego's legendary status. SI.com, "Angel Di Maria Claims Soccer Owes a World Cup to Lionel Messi," 24 Mar. 2018 Instead, the newbie lawyers, who are supposed to usher viewers through the inner workings of the most prestigious court in the land, lack the charisma or gravitas to lead the way. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "'For the People': You've seen this show before," 12 Mar. 2018 Klaus Florian Vogt may have a lighter voice and lacks Mr. Kaufmann’s charisma. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: A Conductor Delivers a Magnificent ‘Parsifal’ at the Met," 6 Feb. 2018 An uneasy alliance between the two and Mitsubishi of Japan was held together by the Napoleonic Mr Ghosn’s charisma. The Economist, "Nissan loses another leader to financial impropriety," 12 Sep. 2019 Regardless, the series works due to Ramos’s leading-man charisma. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "Sergio Ramos Shows Off Another Side in His Amazon Docuseries," 11 Sep. 2019 Lionel Richie is the sort of guy with enough personality, charisma and talent that not even an exploding sky above can upstage him. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Not even a premature fireworks display can stop Lionel Richie from lighting up the Grandstand," 30 Aug. 2019 Sony may have had a few rounds of practice with Queens’ most famous teenage photographer, but even Holland’s Michael J. Fox-style charisma doesn’t change the fact Peter Parker has long entered been-there, done-that territory. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Spider-Man Swings Back to Sony—Unraveling the Universe," 22 Aug. 2019 In a sign of true partnership, Mälkki seemed almost to constrain herself during Skride’s solo sections; Skride would then finish a section triumphantly, as if passing a figurative baton back to Mälkki, who would explode with energy and charisma. Maya Chung, The New York Review of Books, "When Women Take the Baton," 26 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'charisma.' 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 charisma

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for charisma

Greek, favor, gift, from charizesthai to favor, from charis grace; akin to Greek chairein to rejoice — more at yearn

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Statistics for charisma

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for charisma

The first known use of charisma was in 1930

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