\ 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 current man in Westwood's life is her considerably younger husband and design partner Andreas Kronthaler, and the film is especially good at delineating the charms of this unusual relationship. Kenneth Turan,, "'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist' review: Fashion designer 'a force to be reckoned with'," 11 July 2018 James's championship in Cleveland is forever, but the charm of his return is gone, replaced by new expectation in L.A. Basketball's biggest fish has entered the aquarium. Lee Jenkins,, "Fit For The King: LeBron James and the Lakers Form Hollywood's Ultimate Marriage," 11 July 2018 It was revealed in the optimistic charm of her office surrounded by the faces of heartbreak looking down upon a promise of redemption. Steve West,, "A rally for MAMA | Opinion," 9 July 2018 To human eyes, the hawk has the charm of his rakish and soaring self-sufficiency. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Political Harassment Is for the Birds," 6 July 2018 Dry Creek Kitchen, helmed by award-winning chef Charlie Palmer, is known for mixing vibrant, seasonal American cooking and elevated wine selections with the intimate charm of a small town eatery. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "A Tiny Town Neighboring Napa Is the Next California Culinary Destination," 5 July 2018 This new series manages to keep the silly charm of Lupin, while also still grounding things fairly realistically like a modern mystery show. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Eight new anime shows to check out this summer," 29 June 2018 How is that going to add to the charm and aesthetic of my home? Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "4 Reasons You Should Never Give Someone A Yankee Candle," 28 June 2018 The charm of the old ball cathedral, particularly for Lamb, soured quickly. Jeff Miller,, "Fenway not too inviting for struggling Angels pitchers," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 If that leads to a dinner, Popovich will charm him with a discussion that probably will include more analysis of pinot noir and philosophy than of pick-and-rolls. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Pop, Spurs have plenty on this summer’s menu from Kawhi to LeBron," 11 June 2018 We were charmed by these two recipes, one for Irish Pork Stew with Caraway and Stout, and the finisher, a rainbow cake in the shape of a leprechaun's hat. Debbi Snook,, "St. Patrick's Day Irish Pork Stew, surprise-inside Leprechaun Hat Cake (photos, recipes)," 13 Mar. 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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Learn More about charm

Statistics for charm

Last Updated

13 Sep 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).


the setting in which something occurs

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