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

On stage the guy radiates charisma and emanates a personality that can’t be ignored. Timothy Finn, kansascity, "Jack White gives a big Kansas City crowd plenty to phone home about," 25 Apr. 2018 But she was also known for fighting for what’s hers, taking exception to anyone passing negative judgment on her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aretha Franklin dragged a columnist who body-shamed her. It was perfect.," 16 Aug. 2018 Jair Bolsonaro, an outspoken senator from a fringe party, has emerged as one of the only aspiring contenders with both charisma and a clean record. Marina Lopes, Washington Post, "In Brazil, nostalgia grows for the dictatorship — not the brutality, but the law and order," 15 Mar. 2018 In popular culture as well as the gaming and fantasy world, rogues are often characterized by quick wit or malevolent silence, cunning and charisma, deft hands and fast feet, and skill with sharp objects. Patricia Grisafi, SELF, "When I’m Gaming, I Can Stop Being a People Pleaser and Embrace My Anger," 1 Nov. 2018 Now, Clarke and Golding will package all their talent, charisma, and promise in what should be a major hit whenever it’s released. Dan Barna, Glamour, "Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding Are Set to Star in Your Dream Christmas Rom-Com," 18 Sep. 2018 With an acerbic wit, razor-sharp intelligence, deathly lip syncing skills, and enough charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to sink a ship of Drag Race hopefuls, Bob is one sickening queen. Alim Kheraj, GQ, "How to Do Pride Right, With Bob the Drag Queen," 18 June 2018 Bishop Michael Curry gave an address with a charisma familiar to many American worshipers. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Every romantic, emotional moment from one heck of a royal wedding," 19 May 2018 With these coups under her belt, the South Florida native rose as a solo musician with the experience and charisma of a seasoned artist. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "DaniLeigh Took the Best Advice from Prince—to Be Herself as an Artist," 31 Jan. 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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Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for charisma

The first known use of charisma was in 1930

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an act or instance of returning to life

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