ambiguous term relating to an attribute or personal state of a person that may affect or manipulate others

Charm or charms, or The Charm, originally from Latin carmen ("song"), may refer to:

  • Charisma, a person or thing's pronounced ability to attract others
  • Superficial charm, the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick and verbally facile
  • A spell (paranormal) or incantation
  • An object believed to have been magically charmed, such as an amulet or talisman
  • A trinket, as on a charm bracelet


  • Beauty of the face is the outward charm of a human being, and the beauty of soul is his inner charm.
  • Oh, it's — it's a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don't need to have anything else; and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have. Some women, the few, have charm for all; and most have charm for one. But some have charm for none.
  • The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you. Most men would rather please than admire you; they seek less to be instructed, and even to be amused, than to be praised and applauded; the most delicate of pleasures is to please another person.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Characters, H. Van Laun, trans. (London: 1885) “Of Society and Conversation,” #16
  • "Charm"—which means the power to effect work without employing brute force—is indispensable to women. Charm is a woman's strength just as strength is a man's charm.
  • But Time's stern tide, with cold Oblivion's wave,
    Shall soon dissolve each fair, each fading charm.
    • Anna Seward, "Elegy Written at the Sea-Side", in Poetical Works, ed. Walter Scott, Vol. I (Edinburgh: John Ballantyne and Co., 1810), p. 82
  • Men are constantly attracted and deluded by two opposite charms: the charm of competence which is engendered by mathematics and everything akin to mathematics, and the charm of humble awe, which is engendered by meditation on the human soul and its experiences. Philosophy is characterized by the gentle, if firm, refusal to succumb to either charm. It is the highest form of the mating of courage and moderation. In spite of its highness or nobility, it could appear as Sisyphean or ugly, when one contrasts its achievement with its goal. Yet it is necessarily accompanied, sustained and elevated by eros. It is graced by nature's grace.
    • Leo Strauss, What is Political Philosophy, p. 40 (1959)

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