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[fas-uh-neyt] /ˈfæs əˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), fascinated, fascinating.
to attract and hold attentively by a unique power, personal charm, unusual nature, or some other special quality; enthrall:
a vivacity that fascinated the audience.
to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure.
to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, as through terror:
The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit.
Obsolete. to bewitch.
Obsolete. to cast under a spell by a look.
verb (used without object), fascinated, fascinating.
to capture the interest or hold the attention.
Origin of fascinate
1590-1600; < Latin fascinātus, past participle of fascināre to bewitch, cast a spell on, verbal derivative of fascinum evil spell, bewitchment
Related forms
fascinatedly, adverb
fascinative, adjective
half-fascinated, adjective
quasi-fascinated, adjective
unfascinated, adjective
1. bewitch, enchant, spellbind, charm. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fascinated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • fascinated, he watched the heavy dark drop hang in the glistening cloud, and pull down the gossamer.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • They were one of the things that fascinated him in the house.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • We stood gazing with fascinated eyes at the open trunk which stood in our midst like a silent portent.

    The Campfire Girls Go Motoring Hildegard G. Frey
  • Stuart gazed at the great panorama painting on the wall, fascinated.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • I was fascinated by the idea of such a tour; but it was plainly not an excursion to be undertaken without care and consideration.

    Gossamer George A. Birmingham
British Dictionary definitions for fascinated


verb (mainly transitive)
to attract and delight by arousing interest or curiosity: his stories fascinated me for hours
to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
(archaic) to put under a spell
Derived Forms
fascinatedly, adverb
fascination, noun
fascinative, adjective
Usage note
A person can be fascinated by or with another person or thing. It is correct to speak of someone's fascination with a person or thing; one can also say a person or thing has a fascination for someone
Word Origin
C16: from Latin fascināre, from fascinum a bewitching
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 fascinated



1590s, "bewitch, enchant," from Middle French fasciner (14c.), from Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare "bewitch, enchant, fascinate," from fascinus "spell, witchcraft," of uncertain origin. Possibly from Greek baskanos "bewitcher, sorcerer," with form influenced by Latin fari "speak" (see fame (n.)).

The Greek word might be from a Thracian equivalent of Greek phaskein "to say;" cf. also enchant, and German besprechen "to charm," from sprechen "to speak." Earliest used of witches and of serpents, who were said to be able to cast a spell by a look that rendered one unable to move or resist. Sense of "delight, attract" is first recorded 1815. Related: Fascinated; fascinating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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