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 Mahomes has mesmerized with no-look passes, lefty tosses and all sorts of arm angles. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Patrick Mahomes is a reminder of what could be ahead for Lamar Jackson," 4 Feb. 2020 Part fever dream, part glitzy revue, part European carnival, the show mesmerized a nearly full house Friday afternoon at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Cirque Dreams Holidaze is loud, jaw-dropping and really entertaining," 28 Dec. 2019 Here, beloved archetypes of musical theater are transformed into something more real and vital, infused with life by a guitar-picking, mesmerizing cast. Jessica Derschowitz,, "The 10 best stage shows of 2019," 13 Dec. 2019 Karlos and Ivana, now six months old, stare at it, mesmerized. Nichole Sobecki, National Geographic, "Exclusive: Inside a controversial South African lion farm," 21 Nov. 2019 Every horror film needs a good villain, and Rebecca Ferguson is mesmerizing as Rose the Hat, equal parts seductive and sinister. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Doctor Sleep joins IT as one of the best Stephen King adaptations yet," 8 Nov. 2019 Once in her dreamland of Nepal, she was mesmerized, but also reminded of home. Sallee Ann Ruibal,, "Cincy Storytellers Project tells tales of 'growing up' on the farm, around the world," 30 Oct. 2019 She was mesmerized by what was happening on the screen: The drama and storylines, the flips and athleticism, the men and women, the pomp and pageantry. Rich Mayor,, "Kiera Hogan embraces life in the ring with Impact Wrestling," 18 Oct. 2019 The bargaining agreement brings to an end a summerlong showdown that mesmerized much of Maryland. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Seven questions you might have about the BSO’s new contract with its musicians," 24 Sep. 2019

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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Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mesmerize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mesmerize


How to pronounce mesmerize (audio)

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 mesmerise (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 mesmerisation (audio) \ noun

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