attract


attract
attract vb Attract, allure, charm, fascinate, bewitch, enchant, captivate mean to draw another by exerting an irresistible or compelling influence over him. The same distinctions in implications and connotations are observable in the adjectival forms of these words, attractive, alluring, charming, fascinating, bewitching, enchanting, captivating.
Attract always implies a drawing of one thing to another either because of qualities or properties in the agent or because of an affinity in the one attracted for that which draws it or a susceptibility to its influence
{

a magnet attracts iron

}
{

positive electricity attracts negative

}
{

a store of honey attracts a bear

}
{

a stimulating new book attracts attention

}
When used in reference to persons of different sexes, it suggests the arousing of strong admiration or the awakening of love or desire in the person attracted
{

talking, in that beautiful voice which made everything she said sound like a caress, to Papa, who had begun to be attracted rather against his will— Woolf

}
Allure implies not only attraction but enticement by something that is fair, pleasing, or seductive. It may, like lure, suggest enticement into evil or danger
{

ancient fables of men allured by beautiful forms and melodious voices to destruction— Hudson

}
More often the stress is on the overcoming of resistance or indifference by the use of winning methods (as delicate flattery or the enhancement of feminine appeal) or by the bait of a pleasant prospect
{

an alluring advertisement of a summer resort

}
{

she did not naturally attract men, but she became accomplished in alluring them

}
{

the prospect of an interesting, vivid life allures many young women to the big cities

}
{

young children should rather be allured to learning by gentleness and love, than compelled to learning by beating and fear— Ascham

}
Charm implies a power in the agent to cast a spell over and so dominate the person or thing affected
{

only his daughter had the power of charming this black brooding from his mind— Dickens

}
In its commonest use charm implies a power to evoke or attract admiration, but it usually heightens that implication by retaining the suggestion of casting a spell over the senses or over the mind
{

there was a grace about him which charmed, and a hint of latent power which impressed— Buchan

}
{

Cyril, having taken a fancy to his brilliant aunt, had tried to charm her as he seldom or never tried to charm his mother— Bennett

}
Fascinate, like charm, implies the casting of a spell, but it usually suggests the ineffectiveness of resistance or helplessness to escape from the one that fascinates
{

the younger and weaker man was fascinated and helpless before the creeping approach of so monstrous a wrath— G. D. Brown

}
{

personality . . . so fascinating that . . . it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself— Wilde

}
Bewitch and enchant likewise imply the exertion of a magical influence; the former, in its literal sense, suggesting witchcraft, and the latter, sorcery but these implications are often either exceedingly weak or actually lost. Bewitch, in its commonest sense, implies the exertion of a power of fascination that causes another to succumb to one’s charms or allurements and to be under one’s domination. Enchant, on the other hand, usually suggests a power to evoke joy or rapture or ecstatic admiration in the person fascinated
{

enchanted by the girl’s beauty

}
{

bewitched by her charms

}
{

heavens grant that Warwick’s words bewitch him not— Shak.

}
{

Sophia enjoyed the intimacy with Constance. As for Constance, she was enchantedBennett

}
Captivate is the weakest of these words in its suggestion of an irresistible influence or attraction. It implies a capturing of the fancy or feelings and a holding them in thrall for the time being, but it carries no suggestion of prolonged influence or of enslavement
{

the child captivates everyone with his sunny smile

}
{

just the hero to captivate a romantic girl— Irving

}
Analogous words: *invite, solicit, court: entice, *lure, tempt, seduce: *catch, capture
Antonyms: repel
Contrasted words: *offend, affront, outrage, insult

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • attract — at‧tract [əˈtrækt] verb [transitive] 1. to make someone want to buy something, do something, or take part in something: • Advertisements for a new headmaster attracted 120 candidates. attract somebody to something • What attracted me most to the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Attract — At*tract , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Attracted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Attracting}.] [L. attractus, p. p. of attrahere; ad + trahere to draw. See {Trace}, v. t.] 1. To draw to, or cause to tend to; esp. to cause to approach, adhere, or combine; or to cause …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attract — [ə trakt′] vt. [ME attracten < L attractus, pp. of attrahere, to draw to < ad , to + trahere, DRAW] 1. to draw to itself or oneself; make approach or adhere [magnets attract iron] 2. to get the admiration, attention, etc. of; allure [his… …   English World dictionary

  • attract — early 15c., from L. attractus, pp. of attrahere to draw, pull; to attract, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + trahere draw (see TRACT (Cf. tract) (1)). Originally a medical term for the body s tendency to absorb fluids, nourishment, etc., or for a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Attract — At*tract , n. Attraction. [Obs.] Hudibras. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attract — index bait (lure), coax, interest, inveigle, lure, motivate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • attract — [v] draw attention allure, appeal to, bait, beckon, beguile, bewitch, bring, captivate, charm, come on*, court, drag, draw, enchant, endear, engage, enthrall, entice, entrance, exert influence, fascinate, freak out*, give the comeon*, go over big …   New thesaurus

  • attract — ► VERB 1) draw in by offering something interesting or advantageous. 2) cause (a specified reaction). 3) (often be attracted to) cause to have a liking for or interest in. 4) draw (something) closer by exerting a force. DERIVATIVES attractor noun …   English terms dictionary

  • attract */*/*/ — UK [əˈtrækt] / US verb [transitive] Word forms attract : present tense I/you/we/they attract he/she/it attracts present participle attracting past tense attracted past participle attracted 1) a) to make someone interested in something so that… …   English dictionary

  • attract — 01. The meat they ve been putting in the garbage is starting to [attract] rats. 02. His wife is very [attractive], and always gets lots of attention from the men at parties. 03. We put a rotten fish head in the trap to [attract] the shrimp. 04.… …   Grammatical examples in English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.