Definition of charm in English:

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Pronunciation: /CHärm/


1The power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration: he was captivated by her youthful charm
More example sentences
  • I'm fascinated by this character trait known as charm or charisma.
  • This London hit show took America by storm, full of charm, humour and delightful songs that make it a perfect theatrical event for the entire family.
  • But they still retain a kind of charm, which attracts camera-toting tourists round the clock.
appeal, drawing power, attraction, allure, fascination
1.1 (usually charms) An attractive or alluring characteristic: the hidden charms of the city
More example sentences
  • But Winnipeg's a great prairie city, with hidden charms.
  • It was in January 1997 that the newspaper noticed her charms and featured her in a photo shoot.
  • Judge Brett Cullum thinks this oft-reviled David Lynch feature definitely has its charms, if you know how to approach it.
2A small ornament worn on a necklace or bracelet.
Example sentences
  • Rearranging my charms, necklace and bracelet I make sure I look presentable to a street gang.
  • Any trinkets, charms, or ornaments expected of a 17-year-old girl to have in her room would never appear in my mine, because I simply did not own any.
  • She held up a variety of decorative necklaces and charms.
3An object, act, or saying believed to have magic power: the dreamcatcher is a charm used to prevent bad dreams
More example sentences
  • Was it a prayer, a magic spell, a charm, or a prediction?
  • It is a place that is full of spells and curses, where powerful charms work their magic, and everything is witchcraft and wizardry.
  • Not since his first sale of a magic charm was he so concerned over the opinion of his work.
spell, incantation, conjuration, magic formula, magic word, mojo, hex;
pixie dust, fairy dust
3.1An object kept or worn to ward off evil and bring good luck: a good luck charm
More example sentences
  • This charm brings me luck wherever I go for fairies enchanted it.
  • Letters, cards, all sorts of miraculous medals and good luck charms have all been winging their way there in recent years.
  • After just a fortnight at home, I'd already sold the clothes on my back for a few precious bowls of luck charms.
4 Physics One of six flavors of quark.
Example sentences
  • The charm quark stays effectively at rest inside the baryon because it is much more massive than the up, down and strange quarks.
  • Similar fun is had in other fields of science, as for instance by physicists who have named a class of elementary particles quarks, of which charm is one of the flavors.
  • These include the charm and top quarks, which are heavy copies of the up quark, and the strange and bottom quarks, which are heavy copies of the down quark.


[with object]
1Delight greatly: the books have charmed children the world over
More example sentences
  • But I also could not help but be charmed by the book as a whole.
  • Again, each child was welcomed by a smiling elf who brought them to the cubicle where a warm, friendly Santa tried every trick in the book to charm my youngster.
  • Her neighbors are equally charmed by the handsome garden that reflects the area's easygoing lifestyle.
delight, please, win (over), attract, captivate, allure, lure, dazzle, fascinate, enchant, enthrall, enrapture, seduce, spellbind
1.1Gain or influence by charm: he charmed her into going out
More example sentences
  • Of all the US surrogate candidates and vice-presidential hopefuls, none can touch his ability to charm voters.
  • Duke's ability to charm us really comes from the single irony he generates.
  • I don't want you to try to charm me or beguile me or do whatever it is you normally do to have your wicked way with women.
coax, cajole, wheedle
informal sweet-talk, soft-soap
archaic blandish
2Control or achieve by or as if by magic: pretending to charm a cobra [with adverbial]: she will charm your warts away
More example sentences
  • They then moved the fork whilst in the ground, which apparently charms the worms to the surface when the fork is removed.
  • He had laughed, he had charmed me, almost bewitched me.
  • Search where you will, you will not see one who can charm a snake like me.



turn on the charm

Use one’s ability to charm in order to influence someone.
Example sentences
  • Come on, I know all about my big brother's ability to turn on the charm when he wants to.
  • He relaxes, and he comes alive - he turns on the charm.
  • But this isn't a man who turns on the charm at the hint of a camera flash or the whirr of a journalist's Dictaphone.

work like a charm

Be completely successful or effective.
Example sentences
  • The more public approach seems to have worked like a charm.
  • His voice never raised above a moderate level, yet his approach worked like a charm.
  • But it works like a charm within the current range of tax rates.


Middle English (in the senses 'incantation or magic spell' and 'to use spells'): from Old French charme (noun), charmer (verb), from Latin carmen 'song, verse, incantation'.

  • In the Middle Ages a charm was an incantation or magic spell, and did not acquire its meaning of ‘a quality of fascinating or being attractive to people’ until the 17th century. The word comes from Latin carmen ‘song or incantation’. Compare enchant. In the late 1970s people started talking of politicians mounting a charm offensive, a campaign of flattery and friendliness designed to gain the support of others. This is a fine example of an oxymoron, a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear together.

Words that rhyme with charm

alarm, arm, Bairam, balm, barm, becalm, calm, embalm, farm, forearm, Guam, harm, imam, ma'am, malm, Montcalm, Notre-Dame, palm, psalm, qualm, salaam, smarm

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: charm

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