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[mez-muh-rahyz, mes-] /ˈmɛz məˌraɪz, ˈmɛs-/
verb (used with object), mesmerized, mesmerizing.
to hypnotize.
to spellbind; fascinate.
to compel by fascination.
Also, especially British, mesmerise.
Origin of mesmerize
1820-30; mesmer(ism) + -ize
Related forms
mesmerization, noun
mesmerizer, noun
unmesmerized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mesmerize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "No wonder Benita won't let you mesmerize her," he said shortly.

    Benita, An African Romance H. Rider Haggard
  • You mean that you want to mesmerize her as you did the Zulu chief.

    Benita, An African Romance H. Rider Haggard
  • On my replying in the affirmative he said, ‘Can you mesmerize any one at a distance?’

  • The proportion of people who have the power to mesmerize, if it be a power, I do not know.

  • Why was it that he could not mesmerize Augustus, who ought to be an unusually good subject?

    Professor Huskins Lettie M. Cummings
  • I sneered at her, too, at first, but when I was left alone with her she seemed to mesmerize me.

  • "They used to tell me that I had the strange gift of being able to mesmerize people," she muttered.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton Laura Jean Libbey
  • I thought you said you could mesmerize me any time you chose.

    Professor Huskins Lettie M. Cummings
  • He has attended for some time and has at different times attempted to mesmerize me while preaching.

    Birth of a Reformation Andrew Byers
British Dictionary definitions for mesmerize


verb (transitive)
a former word for hypnotize
to hold (someone) as if spellbound
Derived Forms
mesmerization, mesmerisation, noun
mesmerizer, mesmeriser, noun
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 mesmerize

1829, back-formation from mesmerism. Transferred sense of "enthrall" is first attested 1862. Related: Mesmerized; mesmerizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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