mesmerist


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mes·mer·ism

 (mĕz′mə-rĭz′əm, mĕs′-)
n.
1. A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination.
2. Hypnotic induction believed to involve animal magnetism.
3. Hypnotism.

[After Franz Mesmer.]

mes·mer′ic (-mĕr′ĭk) adj.
mes·mer′i·cal·ly adv.
mes′mer·ist n.
Word History: Franz Anton Mesmer, a visionary 18th-century physician, believed cures could be effected by having patients do things such as sit with their feet in a fountain of magnetized water while holding cables attached to magnetized trees. Mesmer then came to believe that magnetic powers resided in himself, and during highly fashionable curative sessions in Paris he caused his patients to have reactions ranging from sleeping or dancing to convulsions. These reactions were actually brought about by hypnotic powers that Mesmer was unaware he possessed. Eventually, Mesmer's practices came to be called mesmerism (a term first recorded in English in 1784). The related word mesmerize (first recorded in English in 1829), having shed its reference to the hypnotic doctor, lives on in the sense "to enthrall."
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mesmerist - a person who induces hypnosismesmerist - a person who induces hypnosis  
psychologist - a scientist trained in psychology
References in classic literature ?
Noel Vanstone's father had been the most powerful mesmerist in Europe, and Mr.
In such acts, the mysterious, charismatic mesmerist would showcase his powers by inducing trances in audience members and displaying his control of their every action onstage.
Her partner is Svengali, a sinister mesmerist who first appeared when Trilby was frequenting the artists' house, and who, it quickly transpired, held a bewitching spell over her.
What she does not know is that the mesmerist is also a murderer, and when she awakes from her trance, she finds herself in the frame for the villain''s most recent crime.
The latest novel to be translated into English is set in 1938, when a Peruvian poet suffers an undiagnosed illness and is treated by the Mesmerist Pierre Pain.
Readers meet Madame Ossery, a mesmerist with a voice "like a locket opening" who provokes 'healing' trances while her assistant plays the mystical-sounding glass harmonica.
That comparison suggests not only the power over the subject inherent in the Mesmerist metaphor but also a less obvious, double dispossession: the subject "speaks" for herself but only through the medium of the hypnotist, while the hypnotist, apparently in control, is also subject to what the hypnotized subject reveals of her inner vision.
31) George du Maurier's Trilby with its sinister figure of the mesmerist, Svengali, was published in 1894.
Not only that: the Indians had evolved practices like hypnotism and mesmerism through which they could induce individuals to do whatever the hypnotist or mesmerist said
The relationship of the mesmerist to the mesmeric subject raised issues of power and control between individuals, classes, and (since most mesmerists were men and most subjects women) the sexes.
Because little noises keep him awake at night he builds a soundproof cellar and hires a mesmerist to put him to sleep.
We learn about the actual techniques of a mesmerist from a journalist's description of the trials and successes of one of the first foreign mesmerists to -- as Winter puts it -- get off the ferry in 1837.