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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Mugabe lacked the easy charisma of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and contemporary who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 after reconciling with its former white rulers. Farai Mutsaka And Christopher Torchia, USA TODAY, "Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Mugabe lacked the easy charisma of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and contemporary who became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after reconciling with its former white rulers. Author: Farai Mutsaka, Christopher Torchia, Anchorage Daily News, "Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean revolutionary who helped liberate and destroy his country, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Mugabe lacked the easy charisma of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and contemporary who became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after reconciling with its former white rulers. Fox News, "Robert Mugabe, longtime ruler of Zimbabwe, dead at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Mugabe lacked the easy charisma of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and contemporary who became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after reconciling with its former white rulers. Farai Mutsaka And Christopher Torchia, sun-sentinel.com, "Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Mugabe lacked the easy charisma of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and contemporary who became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after reconciling with its former white rulers. Farai Mutsaka And Christopher Torchia, chicagotribune.com, "Robert Mugabe dies at 95: He overthrew white minority rule in Rhodesia, then turned into Zimbabwe’s autocrat," 6 Sep. 2019 But is diligence an ideal to chase in our era, when the charisma of the amateur has such a strong hold? Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Normani and the Work of the Pop Princess," 1 Sep. 2019 But for all the look-at-me clowns social media has produced, Mendes has the modest charisma and x-factor of a real star. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Shawn Mendes' pop appeal blossoms in Houston," 26 July 2019 That charisma was on full display during a 2015 Kentucky game against Louisiana-Lafayette. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Jared Lorenzen was not Kentucky's best quarterback, but he was its most memorable," 10 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about charisma

Listen to Our Podcast about charisma

Statistics for charisma

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for charisma

The first known use of charisma was in 1930

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on charisma

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!