mes·​mer·​ize | \ ˈmez-mə-ˌrīz How to pronounce mesmerize (audio) also ˈmes- \
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 My own sons — 22 and 21 — sat mesmerized by the footage and by the stories, as did an entire generation of basketball fans. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "In protecting Michael Jordan's GOAT status, we really are protecting ourselves," 19 May 2020 Roy Horn, who levitated tigers, made elephants vanish and mesmerized Las Vegas for decades as half of Siegfried & Roy, died with the virus at 75. Penn Bullock, New York Times, "Reopening Risks, Ahmaud Arbery, Mother’s Day: Your Weekend Briefing," 10 May 2020 Sanders’ quietly mesmerizing performance refuses to let anyone cast Jahkor as either victim or villain, instead locating a tricky middle ground. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Netflix’s ‘All Day and a Night’ is a bruising, empathetic gangland drama," 1 May 2020 With every wardrobe change, there was ‘do that dazzled us, and makeup that mesmerized us. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "The Best Beauty Looks From The 2019 Soul Train Awards," 18 Nov. 2019 What was mesmerizing about the main event at WrestleWar 1992, was that the Paul Heyman had built the Dangerous Alliance into this amazing, villainous faction to take on Sting’s crew. cleveland, "100 greatest wrestling matches to watch over WrestleMania weekend," 3 Apr. 2020 In the distance there is an orange ball of fire falling through the sky, leaving a trail of black smoke as people look on, mesmerized. Gul Tuysuz, Arwa Damon And Brice Laine, CNN, "Syrian refugees in desperate race to outrun regime offensive," 17 Feb. 2020 Clay’s movement was mesmerizing in the first few rounds, avoiding Liston’s power shots. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "25 greatest heavyweight fights of the last 100 years," 18 Feb. 2020 Judge Heidi Klum was moved to tears and Simon Cowell was mesmerized. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Voices of Service Made Heidi Klum Cry on 'AGT: The Champions': Watch," 27 Jan. 2020

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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The first known use of mesmerize was in 1829

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Cite this Entry

“Mesmerize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce mesmerize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce mesmerize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce mesmerize (audio) \ noun

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