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

You are instead mesmerized by her appearance of internal and exterior unity. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Plot Against Persona," 15 Sep. 2019 She was mesmerized by this man who ate Hong Kong egg tarts and kissed babies, who spoke beautiful English and seemed to inspire a particularly harsh vitriol from critics in inspired torrents of mainland China. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, "Bravery and Nihilism Amid the Protests in Hong Kong," 31 Aug. 2019 Rick’s stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt, mesmerizing in this role), also acts as his driver, best friend, and pep talk provider. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," 26 July 2019 Chloe x Halle stepped on the scene leaving us mesmerized with their majestic crooning and natural beauty. Maiya Carmichael, Essence, "Chloe x Halle Are A Dynamic Style Duo," 3 Sep. 2019 With the national media mesmerized by those aspirants’ festival of pandering, scant attention was given to Sisolak’s good deed. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Democrats may change their malleable minds about the National Popular Vote," 29 Aug. 2019 In fact, the onstage camaraderie between the indefatigable Hancock -- whose keyboard wizardry still mesmerizes -- and the band (all accomplished players in their own right) brought an extra depth to the performances. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Herbie Hancock Brings Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin & More to Hollywood Bowl," 22 Aug. 2019 Refuse to let someone mesmerize you with hype or an unrealistic proposal. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Aug. 12, 2019," 12 Aug. 2019 Discover a sea of sand on an expedition into the dunes of Erg Chebbi, pausing to hunt for fossils and listen to mesmerizing Gnaoua music. National Geographic, "Morocco Family Journey: Ancient Souks to the Sahara," 17 June 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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Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

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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 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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Comments on mesmerize

What made you want to look up mesmerize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

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