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[kap-tuh-veyt] /ˈkæp təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), captivated, captivating.
to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant:
Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him.
Obsolete. to capture; subjugate.
1520-30; < Late Latin captīvātus (past participle of captīvāre to take captive), equivalent to Latin captīv(us) captive + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
captivatingly, adverb
captivation, noun
captivative, adjective
captivator, noun
uncaptivated, adjective
uncaptivating, adjective
uncaptivative, adjective
1. fascinate, bewitch, charm. 2. subdue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for captivated
  • To help him recall images that captivated him, the artist always carried a small pocket diary.
  • Americans have always been captivated by big things.
  • White seems to have been captivated by less digestible fare.
  • The pictures of gas and steam erupting out of the surface of the water captivated the world.
  • They so captivated the students that no other sound could be heard beside click-click-clicking.
  • He was captivated by new developments in technology.
  • Her life, her politics, and her romantic encounters have given her a magical appeal that has captivated the world ever since.
  • Whatever weight-loss program has so recently captivated us is wrong.
  • She had the audience captivated in a state of complete trance.
  • Be captivated by exotic wildlife and see magnificent vistas few humans have ever witnessed.
British Dictionary definitions for captivated


verb (transitive)
to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant
an obsolete word for capture
Derived Forms
captivatingly, adverb
captivation, noun
captivator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin captivāre, from captīvuscaptive
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 captivated



1520s, "to enthrall with charm," from Late Latin captivatus, past participle of captivare "to take, capture," from captivus (see captive). Literal sense (1550s) is rare or obsolete in English, which uses capture (q.v.). Latin captare "to take, hold" also had a transferred sense of "to entice, entrap, allure." Related: Captivated; captivating; captivatingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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