verb fas·ci·nate \ ˈfa-sə-ˌnāt \
|Updated on: 3 Aug 2018

Definition of fascinate

fascinated; fascinating play \ˈfas-ˌnā-tiŋ, ˈfa-sə-ˌnā-\
1 obsolete : bewitch
2 a : to transfix (see transfix 1) and hold spellbound by an irresistible power
  • believed that the serpent could fascinate its prey
b : to command the interest of : allure
  • was fascinated by carnivals
  • The kids were fascinated with their new toy.
: to be irresistibly attractive
  • the novel's flamboyant cover fascinates

Examples of fascinate in a Sentence

  1. a question that fascinates both biologists and anthropologists

  2. Her paintings never fail to fascinate.

Recent Examples of fascinate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of fascinate

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

FASCINATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of fascinate for English Language Learners

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

FASCINATE Defined for Kids


verb fas·ci·nate \ ˈfa-sə-ˌnāt \

Definition of fascinate for Students

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

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having an air of easy unconcern

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