mes·mer·ize | \-mə-ˌrīz \
mesmerized; mesmerizing

Definition of mesmerize 

transitive verb

1 : to subject to mesmerism also : hypnotize

2 : spellbind I found myself mesmerized by the grandiosity of it all— Arnold Plotnick The crowd was mesmerized by the acrobats.

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Other Words from mesmerize

mesmerizer noun

Did You Know?

Experts can't agree on whether Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) was a quack or a genius, but all concede that the late 18th-century physician's name is the source of the word mesmerize. In his day, Mesmer was the toast of Paris, where he enjoyed the support of notables including Queen Marie Antoinette. He treated patients with a force he termed "animal magnetism." Many believe that what he actually used was what we now call "hypnotism." Mesmer's name was first applied to a technique for inducing hypnosis by one of his students in 1784.

Examples of mesmerize in a Sentence

discovered that the children were mesmerized by a television show

Recent Examples on the Web

The video tutorial has gone totally viral and already has been viewed more than three million times — and inspired an endless stream of confused and mesmerized comments. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Braid Tutorial Video Gets More Than 3 Million Views," 2 Feb. 2018 Herrera, a 28-year-old from Tenares, Dominican Republic, mesmerized Royals fans with a fastball that averaged nearly 100 mph. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals close HDH era, send Kelvin Herrera to Nationals for three minor-league prospects," 18 June 2018 But David Benioff, a showrunner and co-creator of the series, is a masterful storyteller, and I have been absolutely mesmerized by his novel, CITY OF THIEVES. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 6 Mar. 2018 One of these doors was opened when Arnold first landed in the Amazon, a region that clearly mesmerizes him. Bruno Garcez, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘The Third Bank of the River,’ by Chris Feliciano Arnold," 14 June 2018 The result is a full-bodied exploration of Hawaii’s ecology, which captured O’Keeffe’s imagination back in 1939 and continues to mesmerize travelers to this day. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "See Georgia O’Keeffe’s Little-Known Hawaii Paintings Blossom Next to Real Plants," 30 May 2018 The videos confront and mesmerize — the whispering, murmuring, and singing mouths cannot be escaped. Cate Mcquaid,, "Meet six talented art-school grads," 27 Apr. 2018 The rescue came more than 30 years after a rescue that mesmerized the nation. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "'Overwhelmed with joy': Boy who fell in pipe found alive," 2 Apr. 2018 The world individually mesmerizes us toward reiteration. New York Times, "Take a Photo Here," 27 June 2018

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

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mesmerize

The first known use of mesmerize was in 1829

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More Definitions for mesmerize



English Language Learners Definition of mesmerize

: to hold the attention of (someone) entirely : to interest or amaze (someone) so much that nothing else is seen or noticed


mes·mer·ize | \ˈmez-mə-ˌrīz \
mesmerized; mesmerizing

Kids Definition of mesmerize

: to hold the complete attention of : fascinate The children were mesmerized by the fireworks.


transitive verb
variants: or British mesmerise \-mə-ˌrīz \
mesmerized or British mesmerised; mesmerizing or British mesmerising

Medical Definition of mesmerize 

: to subject to mesmerism also : hypnotize

Other Words from mesmerize

mesmerization or British mesmerisation \ˌmez-mə-ri-ˈzā-shən \ noun

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