\ 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 charm (audio) \ adjective


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for charm

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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

Noun 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. Verb 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 Bailey has a never-give-up attitude and loads of southern charm, which enables her to navigate the family dynamics and be the mother figure his five children have been missing. Dana Feldman, Forbes, "5 New Series Coming To Netflix In March That Are Worth The Binge," 25 Feb. 2021 Each piece pairs to a messaging app that can only be accessed through the charm, a fingerprint, retina scan or password. Lauren Levy, NBC News, "Valentine's Day 2021: Best ways to celebrate during a pandemic," 9 Feb. 2021 The brutality and injury rate are part of the game’s charm, but c’mon, football gods. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Yes, the 49ers played in the Super Bowl just a year ago. What we've learned since," 6 Feb. 2021 Owen now runs the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, but the current regime has retained all of the venue’s charm — and importance. Melissa Ruggieri, ajc, "From Outkast to Gladys Knight, musical landmarks abound in Atlanta," 18 Jan. 2021 The 82-year-old exterior exudes charm, while the interior boasts a gourmet kitchen and sunroom with three walls of windows. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Hot property: Newly renovated Parkville home combines yesterday’s architecture with today’s amenities," 31 Dec. 2020 Some homes have it all: Stunning architecture and interior design, historical charm—and even a famous former owner. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "This TikTok User Went Viral for Living in Taylor Swift’s Childhood Home," 21 Dec. 2020 Southtown’s Pizzeria Vesuvio food truck brings charm, jazz and great pies to the neighborhood., "Express Briefing: Spurs bill county $250,000 for AT&T Center voting site," 14 Dec. 2020 Also showing up on the Academy shortlists was The Little Things, which made the cut in Score and Makeup & Hairstyling — a category for which Leto is a notable good-luck charm. Nate Jones, Vulture, "Oscar Futures: Could Minari Be This Year’s Underdog Success Story?," 12 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Paul is charismatic and intimidating, the sort of man who could alternatingly charm and bully you into starting a business with him. Abraham Riesman, Vulture, "Stan Lee and the Dot-Com Disaster," 12 Feb. 2021 The couple famously got engaged during the early part of season 16 of The Bachelorette, leaving Tayshia Adams to charm the remaining group of Clare’s boyfriends. Ineye Komonibo,, "Clare & Dale’s Bachelorette Breakup Is Even Messier Than You Thought," 21 Jan. 2021 One was of Lillian Carter, the fascinating woman who seemed able to charm every interviewer and create laugher in the crowds with her impressive storytelling abilities. Globe Staff,, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 There is a picture of Wilson in her early years at the zoo, dressed in an elegant skirt suit that showed off her tiny waist, her hair lightly curled, smiling broadly to charm her companion, a skeptical-looking cheetah. Reginald Dwayne Betts Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Devin Gordon Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Rowan Ricardo Phillips Michael Paterniti Wesley Morris Ismail Muhammad Anthony Giardina, New York Times, "Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year.," 23 Dec. 2020 By the glow of a phone or to the thrum of a city, lullabies still charm babies to sleep today. National Geographic, "What the lullabies we sing to our children reveal about us," 25 Nov. 2020 But WeWork quickly took off, thanks to Neumann’s preternatural ability to charm flush investors and those same investors’ slavering to find the next Uber or Amazon. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "How WeWork Got Away With Spectacular Failure," 24 Nov. 2020 The ability to tell a good joke and charm heads of state may be good for headlines, but there is much more to ruling as a constitutional monarch than those attributes. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "'The Crown' offers some valuable life lessons," 19 Nov. 2020 This month, the English edition translated by Australian Geoffrey Trousselot finally arrives stateside, ready to charm American audiences. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "A chance to redo the past in ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’," 19 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for charm

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for charm

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Charm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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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