fascinate

Anything that sparks your interest or makes you wonder has the ability to fascinate. If you catch someone's interest, and then hold it, you fascinate them. Be careful.

The word fascinate actually comes from Latin and French words meaning "witchcraft," and although these days fascinate is used under much tamer circumstances, there is some sense in the word that the person's appeal is not quite normal: there might be a spell-like quality to his or her charms. Thus, the word is often used to describe a new love. On the other hand, you might find the study of exotic beetles fascinating. To each his own.

Definitions of fascinate
  1. verb
    attract; cause to be enamored
    synonyms: becharm, beguile, bewitch, captivate, capture, catch, charm, enamor, enamour, enchant, entrance, trance
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    types:
    hold
    hold the attention of
    work
    gratify and charm, usually in order to influence
    type of:
    appeal, attract
    be attractive to
  2. verb
    cause to be interested or curious
    synonyms: intrigue
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    types:
    grab, seize
    capture the attention or imagination of
    type of:
    interest, matter to
    be of importance or consequence to
  3. verb
    render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
    “The snake charmer fascinates the cobra”
    synonyms: grip, spellbind, transfix
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    type of:
    interest
    excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
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