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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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

Asked why the story continues to fascinate, Perry pointed first to Caylee, who was just 2 at her death. Hal Boedeker, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Casey Anthony: Judge praises Jose Baez," 24 June 2018 The most notable thing about Kitchen Confidential is Bourdain's ability to fascinate readers with how restaurants function. Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY, "Our review: Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' captured restaurants' demented glory," 8 June 2018 King Tutankhamun continues to fascinate historians. James Rogers, Fox News, "King Tut mystery solved: No 'hidden chamber' in famous tomb, experts say," 7 May 2018 Although much of Haven Hill Estate has fallen into disrepair, including many of the buildings, the estate continues to fascinate visitors and is a popular park attraction. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "History and nature meet at Haven Hill in metro Detroit," 18 Apr. 2018 Benson reflected on the sentiment that continues to fascinate and causes increasing numbers of people to become interested in model trains. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Train whistles spark memories of the past at the train show in Avon Lake," 10 Apr. 2018 Coinbase Coinbase continues to fascinate outsiders and journalists who see the company as the startup at the heart of the current cryptocurrency craze. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "A lot of people are interested in Coinbase. Now the company has a chief messenger.," 9 Apr. 2018 The very thing that should repel evangelicals — Trump's dehumanization of others — is what seems to fascinate and attract some conservative Christians. Michael Gerson, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump evangelicals have sold their souls," 13 Mar. 2018 Wood, in his kind of freakiness, continues to fascinate us. Holly Millea, Smithsonian, "A Preview of Grant Wood’s New Retrospective at the Whitney," 22 Feb. 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

12 Oct 2018

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 \
fascinated; fascinating

Kids Definition of fascinate

1 : to seize and hold the attention of

2 : to attract greatly

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