How do you spell Hannukah?


[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. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for captivates
  • But what really captivates is that bag darting up and down and back and forth.
  • Bright red captivates and immediately catches the eye.
  • The heroine's charm captivates for a while, but one false step and she will be cruelly cast aside.
  • The big question that captivates me concerns our ability to generate self-destructive perturbations.
  • It is sheer sound, not style, that captivates us here.
  • His signature style captivates us on magazine covers, ad campaigns, sauntering down red carpets and stalking the catwalks.
  • There's something about live jazz music that captivates people.
  • From the coast to the high sierra, this region captivates longtime residents and newcomers alike.
  • Parade organizers have worked all summer to plan an event that captivates the magic of the holiday season.
  • The online protein folding game captivates thousands of avid players worldwide.
British Dictionary definitions for captivates


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for captivates



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for captivate

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for captivates

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with captivates