Captivate



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.
Historical Examples

You are enamored of them; they captivate you with their uncouth glamors; towards them you are drawn, eh?
The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey

It was, indeed, just the spot to captivate a youthful and susceptible fancy.
Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton

During the evening she exerted herself, as usual, to captivate him, and bring him to her feet.
City Crimes Greenhorn

I captivate—just as I fish, hunt, sketch, or shoot—to amuse myself.
Barrington Charles James Lever

The whole story had a certain flavor about it which would be sure to captivate such a nature as his.
Sue, A Little Heroine L. T. Meade

To captivate the affections was a secondary use of the phrase.
Notes and Queries, Number 219, January 7, 1854 Various

The book is ‘executed’ with a vivacity, a dash, a ‘go,’ that will captivate any reader who is willing to meet the author halfway.
The Bibliotaph Leon H. Vincent

Just the kind of girl I should suppose likely to captivate poor Edward.
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen

Coquettishly she plied all her wiles to captivate poor Pommer anew.
A Little Garrison Fritz von der Kyrburg

These objects which captivate us are what we were, what we must be again some day.
The Aesthetical Essays Friedrich Schiller

verb (transitive)
to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant
an obsolete word for capture
v.

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.

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  • 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. Contemporary Examples Olympia Snowe is starring as Hamlet these days, captivating and frustrating audiences in Washington and across the country. Snowe Removal Samuel P. Jacobs October 25, 2009 […]

  • Captivatingly

    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. Historical Examples Not a point in the story is overlooked, and every phase of meaning is captivatingly illustrated in pantomime. Famous Prima Donnas Lewis Clinton Strang The present […]



  • Captivation

    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. Historical Examples The marvel of their captivation lay in the spell of the enchanter. A Day’s Ride Charles James Lever There was a captivation in its promise of […]

  • Captivative

    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. verb (transitive) to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant an obsolete word for capture v. 1520s, “to enthrall with charm,” from Late Latin captivatus, past participle of […]



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