fas·​ci·​nate | \ ˈfa-sə-ˌnāt \
fascinated; fascinating\ ˈfas-​ˌnā-​tiŋ , ˈfa-​sə-​ˌnā-​ \

Definition of fascinate

transitive verb

1 obsolete : bewitch
2a : to transfix (see transfix sense 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.

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

Esports Will Only Get Bigger The 20- to 30-year-olds in virtually every country in the world are fascinated by esports. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Meg Whitman Wants to Change What You Watch," 20 Dec. 2018 The Best Growing up, I was always fascinated by the toaster ovens on the kitchen counters of my friends’ houses. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Toaster Ovens You Can Buy," 5 Nov. 2018 Everybody involved with the show seems incredibly excited about Kang’s larger vision, and I am fascinated by the idea of a show like this trying to remake itself mid-run. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead has condemned itself for all time," 5 Nov. 2018 And besides, as a carload of eccentric editors and creatives ourselves, we were fascinated by the West’s idiosyncratic roadside attractions and oddball souls who managed to carve out an existence in such a cultural void. Anne Slowey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fear and Self-Loathing in the American Southwest," 25 July 2018 The mechanisms of snakes have fascinated humanity for thousands of years, few animals are as interwoven into the fabric of culture across the globe. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Oldest Ever Baby Snake Discovered in Forest Amber," 19 July 2018 What was true in 1991 when the original show premiered is still true today: kids are fascinated with the world of babies. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, ""Rugrats" Is Returning With a New TV Show and a Movie," 17 July 2018 He was fascinated with UConn, how everyone was shooting at the Huskies but couldn’t take them down with any regularity. Peter King, SI.com, "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Peter King Says Farewell to SI’s Monday Morning QB," 21 May 2018 He was fascinated with the B&O, the nation’s first common carrier railroad that built westward from Baltimore in 1828, and undertook a history of the line. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "James D. Dilts, author and historian who wrote about railroads, architecture and preservation, dies," 12 May 2018

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 1

History and Etymology for fascinate

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

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Statistics for fascinate

Last Updated

2 Feb 2019

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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 \
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 express emotion in a dramatic way

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