verb (used with object), cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing.
- to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him.
- Obsolete. to capture; subjugate.
- to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant
- an obsolete word for capture
v.1520s, “to enthrall with charm,” from Late Latin captivatus, past participle of captivare “to take, capture,” from captivus (see captive). Literal sense (1550s) is rare or obsolete in English, which uses capture (q.v.). Latin captare “to take, hold” also had a transferred sense of “to entice, entrap, allure.” Related: Captivated; captivating; captivatingly.