mes·​mer·​ism | \ ˈmez-mə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce mesmerism (audio) also ˈmes- \

Definition of mesmerism

1 : hypnotic induction held to involve animal magnetism broadly : hypnotism
2 : hypnotic appeal

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Other Words from mesmerism

mesmerist \ ˈmez-​mə-​rist How to pronounce mesmerism (audio) also  ˈmes-​ \ noun

Synonyms for mesmerism


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Examples of mesmerism in a Sentence

made a living at mesmerism and the selling of medical remedies of dubious value
Recent Examples on the Web Not unlike today, people turned to quack cures for relief, including water therapy and mesmerism, which involved hypnotism and the use of magnets. Ann Levin, USA TODAY, "'The Doctors Blackwell' review: Two remarkable sisters transformed American medicine," 18 Jan. 2021 There has been almost a national mesmerism, or fixation. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Vote Your Conscience," 28 Oct. 2020 Scientist, entrepreneur, and statesman Benjamin Franklin chaired a 1784 French Royal Commission investigating mesmerism, a precursor of hypnosis. Ralph Benko, Fortune, "Donald Trump is a master of hypnotism. How he used the power on America—and then himself," 27 Sep. 2020 Here’s how Ye used mesmerism to get up at 5 a.m. every morning, get more sleep, and get more done. NBC News, "The simple technique that helped this writer become a morning person," 4 Nov. 2019 In the years leading up to the French Revolution, mesmerism started to take on a significantly political dimension. National Geographic, "Was this hypnotic health craze an elaborate hoax or a medical breakthrough?," 5 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mesmerism.' 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 mesmerism

1784, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mesmerism

F. A. Mesmer

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Time Traveler for mesmerism

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The first known use of mesmerism was in 1784

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Statistics for mesmerism

Last Updated

1 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mesmerism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for mesmerism


mes·​mer·​ism | \ ˈmez-mə-ˌriz-əm also ˈmes- \

Medical Definition of mesmerism

: hypnotic induction by the practices of F. A. Mesmer that was believed to involve animal magnetism broadly : hypnotism

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