Here we will use the British spelling as befits a word deriving from a historical figure, Austrian doctor Franz Mesmer, who founded a therapeutic movement called Mesmerism. The American spelling uses the z: mesmerize.
His treatment of patients involved inducing a trance state which would help unblock an invisible fluid to move around the body and heal it.
Sounds rather like the Chinese chi or other Eastern health systems that prioritise the balance and flow of energy.
For us, to mesmerize or mesmerising speaks of something that fascinates and captivates us, enchanting, enthralling or spell-binding. Seems like you can’t have too many words to describe such a blissful state!
For the record, Mesmer was hounded out of Vienna as a fraud and met a similar fate in Paris. While his movement disappeared, the basic concept has lived on in hypnotism and is now being rediscovered in Eastern medicine.
We were mesmerized by the keynote speaker. He had our undivided attention for an hour with this fascinating talk.
The boys are mesmerized by that new detective game online. We hardly see them during the day and they only appear for dinner full of the stories of what they have been playing.