char·is·mat·ic | \ ˌker-əz-ˈma-tik , ˌka-rəz- \

Definition of charismatic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having, exhibiting, or based on charisma or charism charismatic sects a charismatic leader

2 : of, relating to, or constituting charisma or charism charismatic gifts


plural charismatics

Definition of charismatic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a member of a religious group or movement that stresses the seeking of direct divine inspiration and charisms (such as glossolalia or healing)

2 : a person who possesses special traits that attract, inspire, or fascinate other people : a person possessing charisma One of those people like Teddy Roosevelt or Mick Jagger. He was just one of those great charismatics who turned heads and dominated a room. —Dan Aykroyd

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Examples of charismatic in a Sentence


He is a charismatic leader. the cult's charismatic leader had managed to persuade seemingly rational people to obey him blindly

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

With the elastic and high-strung vocals of the charismatic Karen O and the innovative, jagged riffs of Nick Zinner, Fever to Tell still burbles with chaos in a way that rock music should. Kevin Warwick, Chicago Reader, "The Yeah Yeah Yeahs return with a deluxe vinyl reissue of their acclaimed debut, Fever to Tell," 17 May 2018 Coming across at first as timid and plain (quite a challenge for an actress as charismatic as McAdams), Esti turns out to be passionate not only about Ronit but about her vocation as a teacher in a girls high school as well. Kenneth Turan,, "Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz explore a forbidden love affair in 'Disobedience'," 26 Apr. 2018 Third parties in the United States have erupted over the decades around hot passing issues such as the Vietnam War or charismatic figures. Andrew Malcolm, Anchorage Daily News, "Both political parties are more dysfunctional than Trump White House," 21 Mar. 2018 These films had the feel of prime-time news reports, animated less by narrative or aesthetic appeal than by Obaid-Chinoy’s charismatic presence onscreen. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "An Activist-Filmmaker Tackles Patriarchy in Pakistan," 6 Feb. 2016 Taurasi sat barefoot at her locker late Friday, the sneakers and tape removed, charismatic as always but conflicted. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Diana Taurasi Still Putting On Shows In Connecticut," 14 July 2018 While evil is a core focus of all faiths’ theology, for charismatic groups like the People of Praise, the idea of dark forces at work is very real, not metaphoric. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "The story behind potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s little-known Catholic group, People of Praise," 6 July 2018 As the school’s first principal, the district hired a charismatic man named Demetrius Hobson who was educated at Morehouse and Harvard and had been a principal in Chicago’s public schools. Daniel Duane, WIRED, "How the Startup Mentality Failed Kids in San Francisco," 28 June 2018 After all, hippos are charismatic enough to get Jada Pinkett Smith to voice one in the Madagascar films. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "A Look at the Inner Lives of 13 Species of Animals You Think You Know," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That went along with praying for healing, casting out devils, and speaking in tongues, which are more accepted practices among Pentecostals and charismatics today. Julia Duin, WSJ, "Christian Serpent-Handlers Protect Us All," 12 July 2018 Moorhead and Benson may not be movie-star charismatic in the lead roles, but the bond between them is palpable, delivering just the dynamic the movie needs. Peter Debruge,, "'The Endless' review: Brothers revisit their childhood cult in search for meaning," 19 Apr. 2018 Moore shows off her comic chops as the Happy Daysified supervillain, and Pascal is a charismatic onscreen presence even if his Texan accent occasionally falters. Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, "Kingsman: The Golden Circle Is More Farce Than Satire," 22 Sep. 2017 In Bernthal’s Castle, the franchise already has one charismatic, haunted antihero to enact his personal code on the world. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Defenders Proves Heroes Aren't Enough," 24 Aug. 2017

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


circa 1868, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for charismatic



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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for charismatic

The first known use of charismatic was circa 1868

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a magnificent or impressive array

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