a. Strongly attractive personal charm.
b. Sex appeal.
2. A special personal power or presence held to facilitate the hypnotism of others.
3. A theory developed in the 19th century by Franz Mesmer that the body is pervaded by a magnetic fluid that can be redirected by a healer to cure disease. A version of the theory was later developed as hypnotism.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.