Word of the Day: Charm

charm / ˈchärm noun 1. the quality of being pleasing or attractive, either by nature or physical beauty There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament. Henry Van Dyke, 1852-1933 2. an item used to ward off bad luck I’m not really superstitious – I don’t have any lucky charms or a mascot. Andrew Flintoff, 1977- 3. a small trinket worn on a bracelet I used to collect charms and bracelets. Natalie Grant, 1971- 4. a chant meant to have magical consequences; an incantation His very beasts grow thin, as if a charm had been thrown over them. From “La Sorcière: The Witch of the Middle Ages” by Jules Michelet, 1798 – 1874 verb 1. to compel or attract through beauty; to fascinate or enchant Woman learns how to hate in proportion as she forgets how to charm. Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900 2. to influence through charisma He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. From “Living in Truth” by Vaclav Havel, 1936 – 2011 3. to act on something through a compelling force “See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 8:17 (NIV) 4. to give or endow with magical properties by means of incantations Silas now found himself and his cottage suddenly beset by mothers who wanted him to charm away the whooping-cough, or bring back the milk, and by men who wanted stuff against the rheumatics or the knots in the hands; and, to secure themselves against a refusal, the applicants brought silver in their palms. From “Silas Marner” by George Eliot, 1819 – 1880 Etymology Charm: from the Latin noun carmen (song) through the Old French charme. Thank you to Allen Ward for this etymology.