mes·​mer·​ize ˈmez-mə-ˌrīz How to pronounce mesmerize (audio)
 also  ˈmes-
mesmerized; mesmerizing

transitive verb

: to subject to mesmerism
also : hypnotize
: spellbind
I found myself mesmerized by the grandiosity of it allArnold Plotnick
The crowd was mesmerized by the acrobats.
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 in 1784.

Example Sentences

discovered that the children were mesmerized by a television show
Recent Examples on the Web But Benedict’s fearless descriptions of how every step (and misstep) felt, are mesmerizing. Joan Frank,, 11 May 2023 Its Japanese inspired architectural design is mesmerizing and its orange color tone is calming. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 2 May 2023 Prepare to be mesmerized by Yosemite’s renowned landmarks — El Capitan and Half Dome — as well as Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls. Giovanna Caravetta, Travel + Leisure, 11 Mar. 2023 Ethan Miller/Getty Connor McDavid continues to mesmerize, but the scoring force for Edmonton in the playoffs has been Leon Draisaitl. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 13 May 2023 The rows of fish are mesmerizing, their eyes staring back from behind the glass doors, with the fridges programmed to various settings. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2023 Essentially, the drone of the road and the never-ending line of white road markers can mesmerize a driver. Roberto Baldwin, Ars Technica, 29 Apr. 2023 Viewers couldn't help binging the series as fast as possible to talk about it with friends who were just as mesmerized by the engaging plot and moving acting, with turns from Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, O Yeong-su, and more. Robert English,, 18 Apr. 2023 Art-loving moms will be mesmerized by the house museum, which boasts one of the most extensive collections of decorative arts and paintings dating from 1628 to 1867. Gabi De La Rosa, Chron, 18 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mesmerize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mesmerize was in 1829


Dictionary Entries Near mesmerize

Cite this Entry

“Mesmerize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


mes·​mer·​ize ˈmez-mə-ˌrīz How to pronounce mesmerize (audio)
ˈmes- How to pronounce mesmerize (audio)
mesmerized; mesmerizing

Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants or British mesmerise
mesmerized or British mesmerised; mesmerizing or British mesmerising
: to subject to mesmerism
also : hypnotize
mesmerization noun
or British mesmerisation

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