\ 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 pluralher 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

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 For all of the sharpness of his elbows, Dr. Rothman of Yale said, there was also charm. John Schwartz, New York Times, "Paul Marks, Who Pushed Sloan Kettering to Greatness, Dies at 93," 5 May 2020 For 21-year-old Genavieve Linkowski, the second time was not the charm. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "'American Idol' recap: Most of top 20 set before coronavirus-forced delay of live shows," 6 Apr. 2020 The fifth time was in January, so my fingers are crossed this one will be the charm. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1373: Would buy again!," 27 Feb. 2020 The third time wasn’t the charm for Tokyo’s long-running attempt to increase its consumption tax. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Japan’s VAT Blunder," 17 Feb. 2020 Tiebreaks were a charm for Thiem against Nadal -- winning all three -- and unfortunately for Zverev, nothing changed. CNN, "Dominic Thiem beats Alexander Zverev to set up first Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic," 31 Jan. 2020 HUGH HEFNER & CRYSTAL HARRIS Second time is a charm! Grace Gavilanes,, "3, 2, 1 ... I Do! Stars' New Year's Nuptials," 26 Dec. 2019 Could the third time be the charm for the comedian? Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "Will Adam Sandler Finally Get an Oscar Nomination?," 3 Oct. 2019 Stevenson draws herself leaving art school, saying goodbye to her younger self, packing a suitcase, with a melancholy smile, bluejeans, auburn hair, and a boatload of charm. Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker, "How Noelle Stevenson Drew Her Life In Comics," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As one story goes, Mr. O’Rahilly named his station for Caroline Kennedy, having been charmed by a photograph of her as a toddler in the Oval Office. Penelope Green,, "Ronan O’Rahilly, pioneer of Britain’s pirate radio, at 79," 3 May 2020 As one story goes, Mr. O’Rahilly named his station for Caroline Kennedy, having been charmed by a photograph of her as a toddler in the Oval Office. New York Times, "Ronan O’Rahilly, Pioneer of Pirate Radio, Is Dead at 79," 3 May 2020 Tomie also charmed readers by recounting his childhood in a series of chapter books. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 16 Apr. 2020 Over the course of those 20 years, four mainline games, and dozens of spinoffs, The Sims has charmed millions of fans, made more than $5 billion, and even changed lives. Matthew Gault, Time, "'It Nearly Brings Me to Tears.' 20 Years On, The Sims' Diehard Fans Could Never Let Go," 16 Mar. 2020 Bernstein charmed audiences on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The Economist, "The classical musicians who were enlisted in the cold war," 12 Dec. 2019 Hollywood opens just after World War II, as handsome, naive, broke, not-especially-talented newlywed veteran Jack Costello (charming blank slate David Corenswet, last seen in Murphy’s The Politician) lands in L.A. with dreams of fame. Judy Berman, Time, "Netflix's Hollywood Is a Lush Golden Age Fantasy With a Strangely Naive Worldview," 29 Apr. 2020 But the protagonists of Ismée Williams’s charming urban romance THIS TRAIN IS BEING HELD (Amulet, 289 pp., $17.99; ages 13 and up) defy those odds. Jennifer Harlan, New York Times, "From Missing Persons to Mistaken Identities, Books About Seeing and Being Seen," 18 Apr. 2020 Continuing a long tradition of actresses doing some of their best work in Allen’s movies, Fanning and Gomez provide the best moments of the movie, each of them charming in a different way. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Suppressed Woody Allen Movie," 24 Mar. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Charm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for charm


How to pronounce charm (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for charm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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