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

Another twist of the N.B.A. kaleidoscope, whose new configurations always fascinate. Thomas Beller, The New Yorker, "Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and the N.B.A. Free-Agent Kaleidoscope," 12 July 2019 Is there an end to what’s fascinating about working in this kind of setting? Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Sweetbitter Creator Stephanie Danler on the Real Drama of the World’s Best Restaurants," 12 July 2019 Once, at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the museum staff led an activity that unexpectedly fascinated my daughter, who was 3 at the time. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What to do when there's nothing to do: Here are ideas for bored kids in the Milwaukee area.," 10 July 2019 Anyone perversely fascinated by a successful young director betting the farm on a wildly ambitious, largely inscrutable follow-up (cf. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Under the Silver Lake’ is a noir where the sun shines," 3 July 2019 Long fascinated by airplanes, Trump has always fancied himself as something of an aviation expert. Washington Post, "Trump shifts to talk of Air Force One," 21 June 2019 Even Ryu’s post-workout regimen fascinates his teammates. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "Hyun-jin Ryu's Training Routine Is More Baffling Than His Success," 13 June 2019 This pride, combined with his newfound vulnerability, makes him strangely magnetic; his attempts to sort through his memory in the midst of immediate danger are fascinating, much like watching a car accident unfold in real time. Alana Mohamed, The Atlantic, "Inside the Head of an Aging Serial Killer," 11 June 2019 The woman was frightening, and fascinating, and what was truly fascinating was how the woman seemed fascinated by her. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 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

20 Jul 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 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

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