Word of the Day : January 29, 2019


noun kuh-RIZ-muh

What It Means

1 : a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (such as a political leader)

2 : a special magnetic charm or appeal


The young singer had the kind of charisma that turns a performer into a star.

"Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, 'Evita' is the story of Eva Peron who used her charisma and charms to rise from her penniless origins to political power as the first lady of Argentina at the age of 27." — Oscar Sales, The Press Journal (Vero Beach, Florida), 19 Dec. 2018

Did You Know?

The Greek word charisma means "favor" or "gift." It is derived from the verb charizesthai ("to favor"), which in turn comes from the noun charis, meaning "grace." In English, charisma has been used in Christian contexts since the mid-1500s to refer to a gift or power bestowed upon an individual by the Holy Spirit for the good of the Church, a sense that is now very rare. The earliest nonreligious use of charisma that we know of occurred in a German text, a 1922 publication by sociologist Max Weber. The sense began appearing in English contexts shortly after Weber's work was published.

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word that refers to a power to attract through personal magnetism or charm: d _ _ n _ e.



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