n. pl. cha·ris·ma·ta (-mə-tə)
a. A rare personal quality attributed to leaders who arouse fervent popular devotion and enthusiasm.
b. Personal magnetism or charm: a television news program famed for the charisma of its anchors.
2. also char·ism (kărĭz′əm) Christianity An extraordinary power, such as the ability to perform miracles, granted by the Holy Spirit.
[Greek kharisma, divine favor, from kharizesthai, to favor, from kharis, favor; see gher-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.