• (verb) IPA: /ɪnˈfætjuˌ(w)eɪt/, /ɪnˈfætʃuˌ(w)eɪt/
  • (adjective) IPA: /ɪnˈfætju(w)ət/, /ɪnˈfætʃu(w)ət/

infatuate (infatuates, present participle infatuating; past and past participle infatuated)

  1. (transitive) To inspire with unreasoning love, attachment or enthusiasm.
    • 1872, Mark Twain, Roughing It, Hartford, Connecticut: American Publishing Company, Chapter 44, p. 308,
      If the mine was a “developed” one, and had no pay ore to show (and of course it hadn’t), we praised the tunnel; said it was one of the most infatuating tunnels in the land; driveled and driveled about the tunnel till we ran entirely out of ecstasies—but never said a word about the rock.
    • 1888, George Manville Fenn, One Maid’s Mischief, New York: Appleton, Chapter 15, p. 53,
      I declare the girl seems quite to infatuate the men, and see if trouble does not come of it.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To make foolish.
    • 1624, John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, London: Thomas Jones, pp. 3-4,
      […] wee beggard our selues by hearkning after false riches, and infatuated our selues by hearkning after false knowledge.
    • 1718, Daniel Defoe, A Continuation of Letters Written by a Turkish Spy at Paris, London: W. Taylor, Letter 4, p. 20,
      Heaven doubtless has infatuated these Infidels, and given them up to dote on the grossest Absurdities; other wise they could never swallow such open and notorious Impositions […]
Related terms Translations
  • German: betören
  • Russian: (please verify) вскружить голову (vskružitʹ golovu) attention ru, увле́чь
  • Spanish: embrujar, encantar, infatuar


  1. (obsolete) Infatuated, foolishly attracted to (someone).
    • 1901, J. M. Barrie, Quality Street (play), Act III,
      He is infatuate about her.
  2. (obsolete) Foolish, lacking good judgement.
    • 1623, Joseph Hall (bishop), Contemplations on the Historical Passages of the Old and New Testaments (original title Contemplations vpon the Historie of the Old Testament), Edinburgh: Ja. Robertson et al., 1796, Volume 2, Book 18, Contemplation 4, p. 167,
      There was never wicked man that was not infatuate, and in nothing more than in those things wherein he hoped most to transcend the reach of others.
    • 1918, George Bernard Shaw, “A Letter to Frank Harris, published by him in his Life of Wilde” in Pen Portraits and Reviews, London: Constable, 1931, p. 293,
      Oscar Wilde was in a curious double temper. He made no pretence either of innocence or of questioning the folly of his proceedings against John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry. But he had an infatuate haughtiness as to the impossibility of his retreating, and as to his right to dictate your course.

infatuate (plural infatuates)

  1. (obsolete) Infatuated person.
    • 1771, Elizabeth Griffith, The History of Lady Barton, London: T. Davies & T. Cadell, Volume I, Letter 26, p. 183,
      […] she has a number of relations here, brothers and cousins, by the dozen; but they are all priests, and I am apprehensive that some of these infatuates may persuade her to quit me, and lock her up in a convent […]
    • 1911, Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson, New York: John Lane, Chapter 4, p. 59,
      The idol has come sliding down its pedestal to fawn and grovel with all the other infatuates in the dust about my feet.

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