fas·​ci·​nate | \ ˈfa-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce fascinate (audio) \
fascinated; fascinating\ ˈfas-​ˌnā-​tiŋ How to pronounce fascinating (audio) , ˈfa-​sə-​ˌnā-​ \

Definition of fascinate

transitive verb

1a : to command the interest of : allure was fascinated by carnivals The kids were fascinated with their new toy.
b : to transfix (see transfix sense 1) and hold spellbound by an irresistible power believed that the serpent could fascinate its prey
2 obsolete : bewitch

intransitive verb

: to be irresistibly attractive the novel's flamboyant cover fascinates

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Synonyms for fascinate


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

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Choose the Right Synonym for fascinate

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 fascinate in a Sentence

a question that fascinates both biologists and anthropologists Her paintings never fail to fascinate.

Recent Examples on the Web

The president, who is fascinated by ratings, will probably take note of how the ABC interview fared. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "Trump in Orlando: President follows rally with ‘Hannity’ chat," 18 June 2019 Share Your Thoughts Which young art-world stars fascinate you and what makes their work intriguing? Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Meet the Art World’s Rising Stars," 16 June 2019 Consider volunteering or taking classes in a subject that’s always fascinated you. Nathan Bachrach And Amy Wagner, Cincinnati.com, "Simply Money: Want to thrive during retirement? Focus on these four things," 12 June 2019 From the Fyre Festival to Anna Delvey, con artists and grifters fascinate us for the same reason Trump does, Mikki Kendall writes in an opinion piece. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Biden's abortion U-turn & meet the American teen who had a fairytale tennis run: The Morning Rundown," 7 June 2019 People were fascinated when coyotes started showing up in Maryland, but complaints about nuisance animals increased as the coyote population grew. Darryl Fears, The Denver Post, "Killing wolves was supposed to solve a problem but created issue with coyotes," 3 June 2019 Phil has long been fascinated by the science and technology of space missions, but he's always found his interest piqued by the families of astronauts who became celebrities during the space race. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "The Gravity of Us," 8 May 2019 As someone who admittedly hates talking about herself, Bening is fascinated by others. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Annette Bening on Returning to Broadway After 32 Years in All My Sons," 29 Apr. 2019 The prince was said to be fascinated throughout his week working at their iconic South Bank London headquarters, learning how the MI6 navigates threats and potential threats to the country’s national security and economic wellbeing. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside Prince William's Top Secret Internship at Britain's Intelligence Agencies," 6 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fascinate.' 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 fascinate

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for fascinate

Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare, from fascinum evil spell

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Statistics for fascinate

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fascinate

The first known use of fascinate was in 1598

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More Definitions for fascinate



English Language Learners Definition of fascinate

: to cause (someone) to be very interested in something or someone


fas·​ci·​nate | \ ˈfa-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce fascinate (audio) \
fascinated; fascinating

Kids Definition of fascinate

1 : to seize and hold the attention of
2 : to attract greatly

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Comments on fascinate

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


to take the place or position of

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