\ ˈchärm How to pronounce charm (audio) \

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 \ ˈchärm-​ləs How to pronounce charmless (audio) \ adjective


charmer \ ˈchär-​mər How to pronounce charmer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for charm

Synonyms: Noun

amulet, fetish (also fetich), mascot, mojo, periapt, phylactery, talisman

Synonyms: Verb

allure, beguile, bewitch, captivate, enchant, fascinate, kill, magnetize, wile, witch [archaic]

Antonyms: Noun

hoodoo, jinx

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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

Sometimes the Knicks get blown out at MSG (though Christmas at the Garden has its charms) and sometimes a middling West squad closes out the night. Michael Shapiro,, "NBA Schedule Release: Interesting Storylines That Will Shape the 2019-20 Season," 13 Aug. 2019 When new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 As David Rooney, the historian and author, has observed, Nkrumah roused the youth with his fiery oratory, slept on their verandas…shared their hardships …captivated them with his charm, enthusiasm and passion. Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-gyampah, Quartz Africa, "The “tragic error” that led to Kwame Nkrumah becoming one of Africa’s great independence leaders," 7 Aug. 2019 With Two Sweet to Be Good, Jackson offers up a summer treat, sweet and breezily romantic in its charms. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: July romances offer 'knotty' self-discovery," 30 July 2019 There are indie surprises, sure to charm at least a few moviegoers — calling anyone who's been begging for a second helping of Hereditary's horror antics. Ariana Brockington,, "The Best New Movie Releases In July 2019, From Spider-Man To The Next Hereditary," 5 July 2019 Inside one store on Center Street, however, the grayness gave way to the simple childhood charm of Frootie Tooties Candy & More. Lydia Gerike,, "Frootie Tooties looks to bring candy, books and party fun to Southington," 27 June 2019 Our City, Our Baltimore — known for its irresistible charm — is so much more than sad news that lands hard and travels fast in every place. Luke Broadwater,, "Baltimore boosters launch ‘We Are Baltimore’ website after Trump’s criticism of city," 29 July 2019 Set in 1960s Hollywood, the movie was mostly shot in the greater Los Angeles area in locations that have retained their mid-century charm, including several restaurants the director frequents to this day. Los Angeles Times, "Experience the L.A. captured in ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Out front, the house features charming details like a pedimented porch, an arched roof over the entryway, dark window shutters, and (of course, this is Los Angeles after all) palm trees. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "You Can Now Buy Meghan Markle’s Former L.A. Home—for $1.8 Million!," 5 Aug. 2019 There's something seductively charming about this country, its people, and la dolce vita. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Tivoli: Why this Italian city is still Rome's great escape, 2,000 years later," 16 July 2019 Set foot inside the amazing cave dwellings known as troglodyte homes—charming houses built in and around cliff-side caverns. National Geographic, "France Family Journey: From Paris to Normandy and Beyond," 17 June 2019 In his shows, Herzog’s marionettes roller skate, do ballet, try to charm a snake out of a basket, swing on a flying trapeze and gingerly walk a tight rope. Kimberly Fornek,, "Marionettes that dance, roller skate and swing on a trapeze visit Hinsdale Library," 30 July 2019 Heck, Adrien Brody did it to Halle Berry on stage at the 2003 Oscars, and we were supposed to be charmed. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "We can’t let go of the Al Franken question. There’s good reason for that.," 24 July 2019 Stranger Things continues to charm the 80s child in all of us, multiple original productions are giving fresh life to the rom-com genre, and any service that scores a Beyoncé exclusive is doing something right. Anna Washenko, Ars Technica, "Netflix lost US subscribers in Q2 over price hikes; how can it win them back?," 19 July 2019 Gardeners tend not to be charmed by the green iguanas for that reason. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Floridians are free to kill all green iguanas," 3 July 2019 But Williamson also showcased an ability to charm most of her profilers and sound surprisingly commonsense when speaking in generalities. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Twenty Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Marianne Williamson," 1 July 2019

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

Noun and Verb

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

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Learn More about charm

Statistics for charm

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce charm (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on charm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with charm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for charm

Spanish Central: Translation of charm

Nglish: Translation of charm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of charm for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about charm

Comments on charm

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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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