9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Origin of captivate
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 captivating
  • Second, recrimination is more captivating than mere advocacy.
  • Join us in a captivating discussion that will demystify the chancy side of life.
  • If so the photo may be more than visually captivating.
  • It doesn't really matter who else is around us, the show is so captivating.
  • It's a captivating profile that neither fawns nor pities one of oddest players in modern computing history.
  • Meanwhile, the live performers are so captivating that they often distract from what is happening on screen.
  • Some people certainly have captivating personalities that inspire a donor.
  • Her story is fairly well known, but still captivating.
  • Don't miss out on this captivating look at the workings of the cosmos, along with spectacular images.
  • The colors and sense of mystery are really captivating.
British Dictionary definitions for captivating


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 captivating



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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