\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Almhjell talks about the charm and personal service unique to the traditional neighborhood gas station that took care of everything from filling the gas tank and oil changes to engine and brake repairs. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Keeping customers safe has driven Whitey’s Auto Repair for more than 50 years," 1 Sep. 2019 Music has charms that teem our tongues, course through our pens and luminesce up on our screens. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Our melodious English language is music to our ears," 31 Aug. 2019 Video clips of their red carpet interviews show off their ability to answer questions with charm and a wink. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Twitter’s White Boy of the Month Meme Is a Match Made in Heaven Between Celebrity and Internet Culture," 26 Aug. 2019 The three-floor residence has a countryside charm and spans about 5,500 square feet. Alexis Reliford,, "Taylor Swift's "Cornelia Street" Apartment Is Loaded With The Most Lux Features," 24 Aug. 2019 The male roles of Collin and Leonard are under-written; Damian Leverett and Mikell Sapp amiably capture, respectively, the charm and the swagger of the millennial male. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "Review: ‘Hot Asian Doctor Husband’ really funny, but needs streamlining," 18 Aug. 2019 As Lucas, David Kotary nails the combination of charm and annoying zeal in anyone fiercely devoted to a cause. Matthew J. Palm,, "‘If/Then’ intriguingly follows the road(s) less traveled at Theater West End | Review," 16 Aug. 2019 Mr Quilty—who piles paint on his canvases with a cake-icing knife to make gutsy, large-scale works that both charm and challenge his compatriots—has followed an unusual career path. The Economist, "Ben Quilty’s paintings depict violence, loss and “death jackets”," 9 Aug. 2019 These charming creations can add a bit of color, charm and personality to any room in a home—whether formal or just a family gathering place. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "I Cannot Stop Talking About These French Ceramic Hens," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On a night-time visit business-school students surrounded his tomb, as Franciscans in black robes charmed them with stories of their austere daily lives. The Economist, "Popenomics," 7 Sep. 2019 If your wife’s literary wits charmed you, visit independent bookstores in the area and/or attend local author events. NBC News, "Here's how to plan a weekend away that will rekindle the spark in your relationship," 23 Aug. 2019 Must be attractive, know how to charm socially awkward programmers and give relaxing massages. Sui-lee Wee, New York Times, "Wanted at Chinese Start-Ups: Attractive Women to Ease Coders’ Stress," 24 Apr. 2018 PowPAC newcomer Eliza Huf as Elyot’s 20-years-younger bride Sybil is charming in the role, with Huf finding just the right mix of naive innocence and cunning. Pomerado News, "REVIEW: PowPAC’s ‘Private Lives’ is full of comedy and action," 21 Aug. 2019 The promising rhythmic-pop singer-songwriter let her voice shimmer across the field, and my dad couldn’t have been more charmed. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, "My Dad's Time-Traveling Take on Pitchfork Music Festival 2019," 22 July 2019 There are a lot of Peter fans out there who have been charmed by his Ken-doll good looks, sweet personality, and Spanish-speaking skills, among other things. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Peter Weber's Pre-'Bachelorette' Girlfriend Says She Went Public," 17 July 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about charm

Statistics for charm

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for charm

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up charm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!