late 14c., "using charms;" 1610s (implied in charmingly) as "enchanting, delightful;" present-participle adjective from charm (v.).
Entries linking to charming
c. 1300, charmen, "to recite or cast a magic spell," from Old French charmer (13c.) "to enchant, to fill (someone) with desire (for something); to protect, cure, treat; to maltreat, harm," from Late Latin carminare, from Latin carmen "song, verse, enchantment, religious formula" (see charm (n.)).
In Old French used alike of magical and non-magical activity. In English, "to win over by treating pleasingly, delight" from mid-15c.; the weaker sense of "be highly pleasing" is by early 18c. Charmed as a conventional reply to a greeting or meeting (short for I am charmed) is attested by 1825.
1837, from French Roi Charmant, name of the hero of Comtesse d'Aulnoy's "L'Oiseau Bleu" (1697). In English he was adopted into native fairy tales, such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella."
As for me, I have always agreed with the fairy books that the moment when Prince Charming arrives is the perfect climax. Everything that goes before in the life of a girl simply leads up to that moment, and everything that comes after dates from it; and while the girl of the twentieth century, sallying forth in search of adventure, may not hope to meet at the next turn a knight in shining armor, or a sighing troubadour, she does hope, if she is normal and has the normal dreams of a girl, to find her hero in some of the men who pass her way. [Temple Bailey, "Adventures in Girlhood," Philadelphia, 1919]
updated on November 02, 2017
Dictionary entries near charming