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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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 With your knowledgeable trip leaders and local guides, discover what fascinates you the most about this culturally vibrant and biodiverse country. National Geographic, "Costa Rica Middle School Expedition," 10 Sep. 2019 What fascinated me was the phenomenon of cat-lovers being so eager to come together and share their adoration of cats. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Why the 2019 Cat Film Festival is not about funny cat videos," 7 Sep. 2019 What also fascinated me is in many ways, the harlots had more agency than aristocratic women. Morena Duwe, Billboard, "Rael Jones Delivers Electronic Music to the 18th Century With His Score for Hulu's 'Harlots': Interview," 26 Aug. 2019 Murphy walks constantly, crisscrossing the town from one end to the other all day long, and he is fascinated by nature. Finding Joe Murphy, Freep.com, "Joe Murphy, Red Wings' No. 1 pick, is homeless again — and refusing help," 8 Aug. 2019 What fascinated was her way of demystifying things and her cool patience in cutting through mumbo jumbo. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Indelible Substance of a Semester with Toni Morrison," 7 Aug. 2019 There’s this myth that life before the Stonewall riots was completely dark and dreary, and to see celebratory images of happy gay people fascinates us. John Paul Brammer, NBC News, "Have you seen these men? Search is on for gay couple denied 1957 wedding pics," 25 July 2019 More than that, the players’ audacity coupled with their ability to back it up thrills, divides and fascinates us. Jerry Brewer, The Denver Post, "Brewer: U.S. women’s soccer team is just one part of a larger wave of female activism," 4 July 2019 This is still the same New York, and that's what fascinated me. CBS News, ""The Last Pirate of New York": One of the most sensational murder hunts in American history," 29 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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Time Traveler for fascinate

Time Traveler

The first known use of fascinate was in 1598

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Statistics for fascinate

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fascinate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascinates. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for fascinate


How to pronounce fascinate (audio)

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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