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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to be irresistibly attractive
the novel's flamboyant cover fascinates
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 And like me, she is fascinated by lifestyle and telling a story. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 3 July 2024 Puck is fascinated by mortals and enjoys nothing more than making sport of them for his own amusement. Denise Petski, Deadline, 2 July 2024 The show’s premise, which explores themes of family, love, loss, and the afterlife, fascinated me from the start. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 July 2024 Recently, Charli has been fascinated by a different widespread practice that extends beyond the boundaries of the music industry and bleeds into the general experience of womanhood. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 24 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for fascinate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fascinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of fascinate was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near fascinate

Cite this Entry

“Fascinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascinate. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


fas·​ci·​nate ˈfas-ᵊn-ˌāt How to pronounce fascinate (audio)
fascinated; fascinating
: to grip the attention of especially so as to take away the power to move, act, or think for oneself
the belief that serpents can fascinate their prey
: to cause (someone) to be very interested in something or someone

More from Merriam-Webster on fascinate

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