spell·​bind | \ˈspel-ˌbīnd \
spellbound\ ˈspel-​ˌbau̇nd \; spellbinding

Definition of spellbind 

transitive verb

: to bind or hold by or as if by a spell

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of spellbind in a Sentence

the tale about pirates and their buried treasure had completely spellbound the children

Recent Examples on the Web

The effect is particularly spellbinding on a pair of statement earrings, lending a soft halo to guava rose quartz orbs that appear to float in midair. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Yael Sonia Is Bringing the Artisanal Traditions of the Amazon to the World of Fine Jewelry," 11 Sep. 2018 The troupe that performed at Dar Ahlam's desert encampment after the helicopter flew off was all male (the guedra would have to wait till next time) but likewise spellbinding in its relentlessly rhythmic, propulsive, trance-like energy. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "T&C Travel: Best of Morocco," 30 Mar. 2015 It’s as spellbinding in its way as the stunts the cast pulls off during the rest of the show. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "A Cirque du Soleil show that’s as interested in ‘Ahh’ as ‘Wow’," 29 June 2018 Rodriguez is spellbinding as Marisa, mixing humor and emotion as her internal psyche and external circumstances begin to unravel. Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader, "In The Displaced, the ghosts of gentrification won't leave a young couple alone," 14 June 2018 His general range of passing and his general control of games has been simply spellbinding. SI.com, "FanView: It's a Travesty That Kevin De Bruyne Will End This Season Without Any Individual Honours," 1 May 2018 Both the pictures and the practice are spellbinding. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "One bed photo per day, for years and years: Mesmerizing moments from an art show about daily life," 9 Apr. 2018 And as anyone who has seen the sublime new production of the show by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables would tell you, the musical’s spellbinding pull is as powerful as ever. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "The enchanting, innovative ‘Once’ returns to the stage | Miami Herald," 5 Mar. 2018 Like the solar eclipse that spellbound Americans in August last year, a lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, Earth, and sun exactly align. Mika Mckinnon, Smithsonian, "Don’t Miss This Celestial Triplet: a Blue Moon, Supermoon and Lunar Eclipse," 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spellbind.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of spellbind

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spellbind

back-formation from spellbound

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spellbind

Dictionary Entries near spellbind








Statistics for spellbind

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spellbind

The first known use of spellbind was in 1808

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on spellbind

See words that rhyme with spellbind

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spellbind

Comments on spellbind

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


noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!