charm / chärm/ • n. 1. the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration: he was captivated by her youthful charm. ∎ (usu. charms) an attractive or alluring characteristic: the charms of the city. 2. a small ornament worn on a necklace or bracelet. 3. an object, act, or saying believed to have magic power. ∎ an object kept or worn to ward off evil and bring good luck. 4. Physics one of six flavors of quark. • v. [tr.] 1. delight greatly: the books have charmed children the world over. ∎ gain or influence by charm: he charmed her into going out. 2. control or achieve by or as if by magic: pretending to charm a cobra she will charm your warts away. PHRASES: turn on the charm use one's ability to charm in order to influence someone. work like a charm be completely successful or effective. ORIGIN: 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.’
A magical formula, sung or recited to bring about a supposedly beneficial result as part of a spell, or to confer magical efficacy on an amulet. In popular usage the same word is employed to designate the incantation and the object that is charmed.
A Gypsy Queen. Zingara Fortune Teller. Philadelphia: David McKay, 1901.
Lippman, Deborah, and Paul Colin. How to Make Amulets, Charms, & Talismans. New York: M. Evans, 1974.
Sepharial [Walter Gorn Old]. The Book of Charms and Talismans. New York: Arc Books, 1969.
a medley of goldfinches, 1430; the blended voices of a choir; a noise or confusion of voices as of children or birds.
Examples: charm of angels, 1530; of birds [a group of singing birds]; of choristers; of goldfinches, 1430.