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in·​fat·​u·​ate in-ˈfa-chə-ˌwāt How to pronounce infatuate (audio)
infatuated; infatuating

transitive verb

: to cause to be foolish : deprive of sound judgment
: to inspire with a foolish or extravagant love or admiration


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in·​fat·​u·​ate in-ˈfa-chə-wət How to pronounce infatuate (audio)
: being in an infatuated state or condition

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What is the origin of infatuated?

When we speak of someone being infatuated it very often is in relationship to that person having seemingly taken leave of his or her senses, especially in a romantic context (“he was so infatuated that he could not remember what day of the week it was”). This is fitting, as the word shares an origin with the word fatuous, which means complacently or inanely foolish. Both words come from the Latin fatuus (“foolish”), although fatuous is not often used in the romantic contexts in which we find infatuate. When used with a preposition infatuated is typically followed by with.

Examples of infatuate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Carter believes that ultimately, Prudence is infatuated with one of the most important people in her life: her mom. James Mercadante and Stephanie Kaloi,, 11 May 2024 Last produced by San Diego Opera in 2012, this 1891 German opera was inspired by Oscar Wilde’s play about princess Salome, who becomes infatuated with John the Baptist (Jochanaan), who is a prisoner in her stepfather King Herod’s court. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2024 Ellis said Todd was infatuated with Vernon, even buying a new dress for an upcoming performance in the hopes of sparking a romance. Kelly Heinzerling, ABC News, 3 May 2024 Ursula, infatuated, insisted on sitting on a hay bale, sketching them for hours on end. Plum Sykes, Vogue, 2 May 2024 The Clifford family of Edmond, Okla., tracked down an octopus for their son Cal, 9, who has been infatuated with the sea animals for years. Michael Levenson, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2024 She was infatuated by home design from a young age, credit to her mother and grandmother. Cameron Beall, Southern Living, 8 Apr. 2024 Tom becomes infatuated with Dickie and his lifestyle, then kills him to avoid being deserted — and the cover-up spirals from there. Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2024 When his work, along with that of other Ukiyo-e artists of that period, was discovered by French artists, they were infatuated. Geraldine Fabrikant, New York Times, 19 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'infatuate.' 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 infatuatus, past participle of infatuare, from in- + fatuus fatuous

First Known Use


circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of infatuate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near infatuate

Cite this Entry

“Infatuate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


infatuated; infatuating
: to fill with a foolish or excessive love or admiration

More from Merriam-Webster on infatuate

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