1. [syn: hypnotism, mesmerism, suggestion]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mesmerism \Mes"mer*ism\, n. [From Mesmer, who first brought it
into notice at Vienna, about 1775: cf. F. mesm['e]risme.]
An earlier name for hypnosis or hypnotism, the art of
inducing an extraordinary or abnormal state of the nervous
system, in which the actor claims to control the actions, and
communicate directly with the mind, of the recipient. It is
believed to be a state between sleep and wakefulness, in
which a person is more susceptible to suggestion than when
awake. See Animal magnetism, under Magnetism.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the act of inducing hypnosis [syn: hypnotism,
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
MESMERISM, n. Hypnotism before it wore good clothes, kept a carriage
and asked Incredulity to dinner.