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

Buttigieg, in contrast, is still being powered by his own charisma and charm. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Beto’s Bet on Iowa," 9 June 2019 But his charisma masked something darker, a proclivity towards self-harm and depression. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Can Play the X-Men Now?," 7 June 2019 But, as evidenced by live performances and its double EP, From the Fires, the group exudes a brash charisma and is already well on its way to absorbing its influences into a dynamic sound of its own. Philly.com, "Art Star Craft Bazaar, Love Your Park Week, New Hope Celebrates Pride, and other great events, May 11-18," 9 May 2018 His knowledge, charisma and persistence helped craft Public Act 490, landmark legislation that let open space, agricultural land and forests be taxed at their land use value rather than highest use value for local taxation purposes. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Mr. Conservation: John Hibbard Worked For Decades To Preserve Connecticut’s Farmland, Parks, Forests," 29 Mar. 2018 The charisma needed to compete at the highest level of politics is hard to identify and often apparent only after someone has won. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Maybe It’ll Be Beto," 13 Feb. 2019 Rio de Janeiro has a distinct hum and kick and charisma about it. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Rio de Janeiro, Right Now: 5 Reasons to Visit the Extraordinary Brazilian City," 19 Mar. 2019 From her opening skit in a new-and-improved Black Panther to her many zingers, Haddish stole the show with her comedic timing and charisma. Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com, "Missed the MTV Movie & TV Awards? These Are the Moments You Need to Know About," 18 June 2018 During the 1992 election, she was often deployed by the Bush campaign as a surrogate to humanize a president not known for charisma or the common touch. Anchorage Daily News, "Family: Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at 92," 18 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for charisma

The first known use of charisma was in 1930

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