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Definition of "mesmerism" [mes•mer•ism]

  • A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination. (noun)
  • Hypnotic induction believed to involve animal magnetism. (noun)
  • Hypnotism. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "mesmerism" in a sentence
  • "It were impossible, in a space like ours, to give even an outline of the different species of waren and their strange practices, part of which would seem to be akin to what we call mesmerism and clairvoyance, with the addition of spells and sacrifices."
  • "That this power, which we call mesmerism, was also known to the priests of ancient Egypt, is supposed to be proved by carvings on the temples of priests making the passes with their hands, opposite other figures, to produce the sleep; a circumstance which has been recounted as proving a connection between the ancient religion in Egypt, and some unknown faith formerly prevalent in India, at the time the temples of Elephanta, Kennery, and others were built."
  • "As Tatar has observed, it was no accident, given the roots of psychoanalysis in mesmerism and hypnosis, that Freud should so often have had recourse to the vocabulary of hydraulics and electromagnetism in formulating his metapsychology (43-44)."