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late 13c., from Old French encantement, from enchanter "bewitch, charm," from Latin incantare, literally "enchant, cast a (magic) spell upon," from in- "upon, into" (see in- (2)) + cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Figurative sense of "alluring" is from 1670s. Cf. Old English galdor "song," also "spell, enchantment," from galan "to sing," source of the second element in nightingale.