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

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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 While a glimpse into the logistics of war might mesmerize and disturb in equal measures, the guides are careful not to glamorize the conflict. Steph Dyson, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Mmhmm just announced their latest release (V2.0), which provides even more opportunities to make your mark and mesmerize your audience. William Arruda, Forbes, 22 June 2021 Both versions mesmerize the eyes with seven dancing diamonds and blued Roman numerals. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 The sounds of water lapping on the rocks, seagulls squawking, and the wail of a loon mesmerize us., 14 Apr. 2021 His use of PowerPoint presentations seemed to mesmerize people. Steven W. Thrasher, Scientific American, 4 Mar. 2021 My own sons — 22 and 21 — sat mesmerized by the footage and by the stories, as did an entire generation of basketball fans. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, 19 May 2020 Roy Horn, who levitated tigers, made elephants vanish and mesmerized Las Vegas for decades as half of Siegfried & Roy, died with the virus at 75. Penn Bullock, New York Times, 10 May 2020 Sanders’ quietly mesmerizing performance refuses to let anyone cast Jahkor as either victim or villain, instead locating a tricky middle ground. Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2020

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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The first known use of mesmerize was in 1829

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mesmerize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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 mesmerize (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 mesmerize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on mesmerize

Nglish: Translation of mesmerize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mesmerize for Arabic Speakers


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