\ 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.

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That gut instinct is what resulted in a warm and lived-in home that mixes farmhouse heritage with contemporary charm. Allison Duncan, House Beautiful, 28 July 2022 Coupled with the charm of the building is the delicious food Four Dads serves up daily. Blaine Callahan, Hartford Courant, 19 July 2022 Fran Dillard, Driscoll’s vice president of brand and product marketing, who wore a necklace with a strawberry charm on our video call, thinks their success is reflective of post-peak-Covid optimism. Alex Beggs, New York Times, 18 July 2022 The brilliance in the writing, combined with the charm of Hollywood legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, makes Grace and Frankie a truly one-of-a-kind comedy. Swarna Gowtham, Town & Country, 14 July 2022 Or, for a more affordable option, head to the The Roscoe Motel, a riverside spot brimming with 1950s charm that’s popular with seasoned fly fisherpeople. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 11 July 2022 The Demi, named after the daughter of Bock's close friend Briana Yates Lengyel, has herringbone and link chains with a crystal teardrop charm. Hedy Phillips,, 8 July 2022 Contrary to the mixed critical fanfare and harsh criticism of its three-hour-plus runtime, the 1998 film Meet Joe Black holds up with a charm that's subtle, refreshing, and thought-provoking. Derek Scancarelli,, 7 July 2022 The Ioniq 6 follows the Toyota Prius–like Ioniq and the Ioniq 5, an SUV with 8-bit charm. Matthew Askari, Car and Driver, 28 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Indie pop bands typically approach festival sets as a way to charm new listeners. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 30 July 2022 It’s where stars charm the crowd of about 6,500 lucky people. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 July 2022 What started as a misdirected text message has blossomed into a friendship that continues to charm the world. Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2021 Even so, with all the recent service and sophisticated Alpine White paint, this 944 S2 managed to charm us. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 20 June 2022 Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 2 May 2022 Known for: Soulful voice, flamboyant style, eye-catching dance moves, ability to charm TV viewers and turn them into devoted fans. Mary Colurso |, al, 18 Apr. 2022 The fact that this new take on an old chestnut is coming to a theater near you almost feels like an afterthought — it is specifically designed to be watched in a state of distraction and/or defenseless against its aggressive attempts to charm. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2022 Yet, Fellowes manages to navigate ‘Downton Abbey’ to charm both reactionaries and revolutionaries, finagling a sequence that allows the staff to usurp the formal dining room while the rich serve themselves at a buffet. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of charm


13th 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 "verse used in incantation, magic spell, the power of such a spell, magic," borrowed from Anglo-French, "magic spell" (also continental Old French), going back to Latin carmin-, carmen "ritual utterance, magical chant, spell, song, poem," dissimilated from *can-men-, from canere "to sing, chant" + -men, resultative noun suffix — more at chant entry 1

Note: P. Fouché regards charme as a learned word rather than a direct continuation of *carmine (Phonétique historique du français, vol. 3 [Paris, 1966], p. 828).


Middle English charmen "to recite or cast a magic spell, cast a spell on," borrowed from Anglo-French charmer, derivative of charme "magic spell, charm entry 1"

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Time Traveler for charm

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The first known use of charm was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near charm

charlton white



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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Charm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for charm


\ 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 {amp} 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on charm

Nglish: Translation of charm for Spanish Speakers

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


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