1620s, of drugs, "inducing sleep," from French hypnotique (16c.) "inclined to sleep, soporific," from Late Latin hypnoticus, from Greek hypnotikos "inclined to sleep, putting to sleep, sleepy," from hypnoun "put to sleep," from hypnos "sleep" (from PIE root *swep- "to sleep"). Modern sense of "pertaining to an induced trance" first recorded in English 1843, along with hypnotize, hypnotism, hypnotist, in the works of hypnotism pioneer Dr. James Braid. Related: Hypnotical; hypnotically.
updated on October 14, 2021