Synonym Chooser

How is the word captivate different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of captivate are allure, attract, charm, enchant, and fascinate. While all these words mean "to draw another by exerting a powerful influence," charm implies the power of casting a spell over the person or thing affected and so compelling a response, but it may, like captivate, suggest no more than evoking delight or admiration.

charmed by their hospitality
her performances captivated audiences

When can allure be used instead of captivate?

In some situations, the words allure and captivate are roughly equivalent. However, allure implies an enticing by what is fair, pleasing, or seductive.

an alluring smile

When could attract be used to replace captivate?

The meanings of attract and captivate largely overlap; however, attract applies to any degree or kind of ability to exert influence over another.

students attracted by the school's locale

When would enchant be a good substitute for captivate?

While in some cases nearly identical to captivate, enchant is perhaps the strongest of these terms in stressing the appeal of the agent and the degree of delight evoked in the subject.

hopelessly enchanted by her beauty

When might fascinate be a better fit than captivate?

While the synonyms fascinate and captivate are close in meaning, fascinate suggests a magical influence and tends to stress the ineffectiveness of attempts to resist.

a story that continues to fascinate children

Thesaurus Entries Near captivate

Cite this Entry

“Captivate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

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