"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-trakt] /əˈtrækt/
verb (used with object)
to draw by a physical force causing or tending to cause to approach, adhere, or unite; pull (opposed to repel):
The gravitational force of the earth attracts smaller bodies to it.
to draw by appealing to the emotions or senses, by stimulating interest, or by exciting admiration; allure; invite:
to attract attention; to attract admirers by one's charm.
verb (used without object)
to possess or exert the power of attraction.
Origin of attract
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin attractus drawn to (past participle of attrahere), equivalent to at- at- + trac- (variant stem of trahere to draw) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
attractable, adjective
attractableness, noun
attractingly, adverb
attractor, attracter, noun
reattract, verb (used with object)
unattractable, adjective
unattracted, adjective
unattracting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for attract
  • They donned tree costumes to attract attention to their cause and crawled into tree platforms to disrupt logging.
  • It could be probably a ploy to attract the attention of the public.
  • And forget about trying to attract attention through gimmicky multicolored onscreen eyeballs that blink when you click them.
  • attract attention to a garden area by adding a spot of color.
  • And if such radiance isn't enough to attract your attention and lift your spirits, then its convenience should.
  • Participants honk their car horns or flash their headlights to attract each others' attention.
  • Most of them are boring and attract no attention from journalists.
  • The new mayors will be able to knock heads together, and their ability to attract media attention will help to foster civic pride.
  • They were the first of his poems, apparently, to attract attention outside the circle of his friends.
  • But if a gentleman puts on a top hat and a frock-coat, and then goes about on his hands and knees-well, he may attract attention.
British Dictionary definitions for attract


verb (mainly transitive)
to draw (notice, a crowd of observers, etc) to oneself by conspicuous behaviour or appearance (esp in the phrase attract attention)
(also intransitive) to exert a force on (a body) that tends to cause an approach or oppose a separation: the gravitational pull of the earth attracts objects to it
to possess some property that pulls or draws (something) towards itself: jam attracts wasps
(also intransitive) to exert a pleasing, alluring, or fascinating influence (upon); be attractive (to)
Derived Forms
attractable, adjective
attractor, attracter, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin attrahere to draw towards, from trahere to pull
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for attract

early 15c., from Latin attractus, past participle of attrahere "to draw, pull; to attract," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + trahere "draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Originally a medical term for the body's tendency to absorb fluids, nourishment, etc., or for a poultice treatment to "draw out" diseased matter (1560s). Of the ability of people or animals to draw others to them, it is attested from 1560s; of physical forces (magnetism, etc.), from c.1600 (implied in attraction). Related: Attracted; attracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for attract



To steal: attracted some lumber and built a garage (1891+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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