a. The power or quality of pleasing or delighting; appeal: an old house with a lot of charm.
b. A quality that pleases or attracts; a delightful characteristic: A mischievous grin was among the child's many charms.
2. A small ornament, such as one worn on a bracelet.
a. An item worn for its supposed magical benefit, as in warding off evil; an amulet.
b. An action or formula thought to have magical power.
a. A quantum property of subatomic particles that is conserved in electromagnetic and strong interactions but may not be conserved in weak interactions that cause the decay of particles containing charm quarks.
b. The quantum number that represents the charm property, equal to the difference between the number of charm quarks and the number of charm antiquarks.
v. charmed, charm·ing, charms
1. To delight or fascinate: the simple elegance of the meal charmed the guests.
2. To induce by means of strong personal attractiveness: charmed the guard into admitting them without invitations.
3. To cast or seem to cast a spell on; bewitch.
1. To be alluring or pleasing.
2. To function as an amulet or charm.
3. To use magic spells.
[Middle English charme, magic spell, from Old French, from Latin carmen, incantation; see kan- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: charm, beguile, bewitch, captivate, enchant, entrance2, fascinate
These verbs mean to delight so much that one's interest and attention are held: a performance that charmed the theater critic; a gourmet meal that beguiles discerning diners; a musical comedy that bewitched its audience; a novel that captivates its readers; a child who enchanted his grandparents; music that entrances its listeners; a celebrity who fascinated her interviewer.
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.