\ˈchärm \

Definition of charm 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the chanting or reciting of a magic spell : incantation

b : a practice or expression believed to have magic power

2 : something worn about the person to ward off evil or ensure good fortune : amulet wore a rabbit's foot as a good-luck charm

3a : a trait that fascinates, allures, or delights the charm of this imaginative story

b : a physical grace (see grace entry 1 sense 3) or attraction used in plural her feminine charms

c : compelling attractiveness the island possessed great charm

4 : a small ornament worn on a bracelet or chain Her sister presented her with a sterling silver charm for her bracelet.

5 : a fundamental quark that has an electric charge of +²/₃ and a measured energy of approximately 1.5 GeV also : the flavor characterizing this particle


charmed; charming; charms

Definition of charm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to affect by or as if by magic : compel

b : to please, soothe, or delight by compelling attraction charms customers with his suave manner

2 : to endow with or as if with supernatural powers by means of charms also : to protect by or as if by spells, charms, or supernatural influences

3 : to control (an animal) typically by charms (such as the playing of music) charm a snake

intransitive verb

1 : to practice magic and enchantment witches having the power to charm

2 : to have the effect of a charm : fascinate The village charms by its quaintness.

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Other Words from charm


charmless \-ləs \ adjective


charmer \ˈchär-mər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for charm


attract, allure, charm, captivate, fascinate, enchant mean to draw another by exerting a powerful influence. attract applies to any degree or kind of ability to exert influence over another. students attracted by the school's locale allure implies an enticing by what is fair, pleasing, or seductive. an alluring smile charm implies the power of casting a spell over the person or thing affected and so compelling a response charmed by their hospitality , but it may, like captivate, suggest no more than evoking delight or admiration. her performances captivated audiences fascinate suggests a magical influence and tends to stress the ineffectiveness of attempts to resist. a story that continues to fascinate children enchant is perhaps the strongest of these terms in stressing the appeal of the agent and the degree of delight evoked in the subject. hopelessly enchanted by her beauty

Examples of charm in a Sentence


He keeps a horseshoe as a good luck charm. He fell under the spell of her charms. The resort has many charms. The inn has a quaint charm. The island possesses great charm. The new curtains add charm to the room. The seaside location is a big part of the house's charm. He won her over with his charm.


The snake was charmed by the music. He was known for his ability to charm voters. He charmed the committee into approving his proposal. I was charmed by the cozy country inn.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The junior members of the rescue team are played with eccentric charm by Daniella Peneda (good with needles) and Justice Smith (bad with bugs, and the weather, and the raptors). Michael Phillips,, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' review: Raptors delight while humans make a mess of things," 20 June 2018 Vibrant shades of green, tan and pink spruce up the façade before opening to a two-story interior with Old World charm. Jack Flemming,, "Screenwriters Roger Simon and Sheryl Longin redraft their asking price in Hollywood Hills," 19 June 2018 Leonardi’s bird portraits are in an elongated Renaissance style and infused with childlike charm. Adrian Higgins, sacbee, "Fertilize your creative spirit with these gardening books," 8 June 2018 But Pillars of Eternity 2 justifies it with endless charm to chuckle at and machinations to unravel. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire," 4 June 2018 Duke is played, with reptile-dry, businesslike charm, by Topher Grace, but all of the performances here are terrific: Washingon and Driver play off one another with prickly breeziness and a kind of mutually protective bonhomie. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Cannes Review: Spike Lee's BlackKklansman Is the Movie We Need Now—And It's Funny, Too," 15 May 2018 Franky, playing the father with unselfconscious charm, is contagiously cheerful and carefree. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Shoplifters' ('Manbiki Kazoku'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 14 May 2018 Maybe Kate’s charms are superficial and yours reveal themselves fully only over time. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "A second chance for the guy who chose another woman over her?," 28 June 2018 Classic charm is mixed with contemporary design in the 1991 multiple-story house. Lauren Beale,, "Good Charlotte drummer Dean Butterworth finds a fan for his house," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cuevas was at the program’s launch Wednesday evening and was charmed by the 13-pound pooch, who spent less than a day in the lobby’s new dog house, which has a glass run so guests can see and pet the dog. Kate Santich,, "Orlando hotel's foster dog gets quick adoption," 25 May 2018 Paschall is perhaps the greatest exemplar of how charmed this night seemed for Nova. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Villanova rains, drains 3-pointers to thwart Kansas in Final Four," 31 Mar. 2018 Other elements went into his decision to make the loans beyond being charmed by Laird, of course. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "SAMA only place in U.S. to see show of Picasso, Goya, El Greco works," 22 June 2018 All seemed charmed by a collection that attempted to personify the current London spirit: a grizzled geezer, stylish but rough around the edges, who has seen it all and then some but is still ready for more. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, "Our 5 Favorite Shows From the Men’s Runways in London," 11 June 2018 Richard plays with his followers, bringing them into his thinking and manipulating their thinking to his ... They are charmed by him. Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle, "Performances set for solstice fest," 5 June 2018 Kathlene loved her bartending jobs and could cut off even the most belligerent drunk and charm him into leaving peacefully. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Art exhibit in Pigtown humanizes female sex workers and drug addicts," 6 July 2018 Golden State WarriorsMom was charmed by Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr Sports // Golden State WarriorsWarriors and revamped Lakers? Ann Killion,, "No sarcastic laughter on Warriors’ draft night now," 22 June 2018 Joanna was charmed by the rustic look of the silos at 601 Webster Ave—as well as the idea of fixing up a Waco landmark. Simon Dumenco, Country Living, "17 Things to Know About Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Market at the Silos," 12 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for charm


Middle English charme, from Anglo-French, from Latin carmen song, from canere to sing — more at chant


see charm entry 1

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Statistics for charm

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for charm

The first known use of charm was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for charm



English Language Learners Definition of charm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is believed to have magic powers and especially to prevent bad luck

: a small object that is worn on a chain or bracelet

: a quality that causes someone or something to be very likeable : an attractive quality



English Language Learners Definition of charm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put a spell on (someone or something)

: to cause (someone) to like you or to do what you want by being nice, friendly, etc.

: to attract (someone) by being beautiful or welcoming


\ˈchärm \

Kids Definition of charm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an action, word, or phrase believed to have magic powers

2 : something believed to keep away evil and bring good luck

3 : a small decorative object worn on a chain or bracelet

4 : a quality that attracts and pleases


charmed; charming

Kids Definition of charm (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to affect or influence by or as if by a magic spell He charmed the group into supporting him.

2 : fascinate sense 2, delight The penguins were all charmed by the sparkling lights and the confusion of the city below.— Richard and Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins

3 : to attract by being graceful, beautiful, or welcoming I was charmed by the countryside.

4 : to protect by or as if by a charm She leads a charmed life.

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Comments on charm

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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