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see hypnotismhypnotism
[Gr.,=putting to sleep], to induce an altered state of consciousness characterized by deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility. The term was originally coined by James Braid in 1842 to describe a phenomenon previously known as animal magnetism or mesmerism (see
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an antiscientific medical system promoted by the Austrian physician (of Swiss origin) F. Mesmer (1734–1815) and based on the notion of animal magnetism, widespread at the end of the 18th century in France and Germany. Mesmer believed that the planets affect man through a special magnetic force and that a person in command of this force can emit it to others to favorably influence the course of all diseases. The untenability of the theory was demonstrated in 1774 by a special commission that included A. L. Lavoisier.


Hypnotism induced by animal magnetism, a supposed force passing from operator to subject.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cat Ford as Leena is mesmerically villainous, in part, perhaps, because she seems a doppelganger, in this case of Joyce Carol Oates.
We began with an addition to the programme, an orchestral arrangement of the discarded Intermezzo from the composer's String Quintet, mesmerically flowing, demanding huge concentration from the players, and achieving a judicious balancing of textures under Curtis' baton.
And don't be surprised if the stepover routine Ronaldo carried out so mesmerically returns to the United menu in the months ahead.
The programme is as wide-ranging as usual this year, from the very uncompromising to the pleasurably exotic, mesmerically mystical, or just plain intriguing.
There was just nothing else to beat Pammy running through the surf in slow motion (1992-97) as her dumplings jiggled mesmerically in her tight red swimsuit.
However, this crystallization of material threatens to be over-reductive when Losey is drawn mesmerically to the idea that Pater's prose is 'coded', as though 'his confession on same-sex passion' will yield up its fascinating secret once the reader has cracked the 'finicky, repressive language' (pp.
And then there is Bresson's breathtaking avoidance of picturing key events; his selective foregrounding of sound over image; his refusal to use stars or even professional actors; his disdain for psychology; his lingering attention to everything that exists between thought and action; his exclusion of anything "theatrical"; the mesmerically even, unruffled tone of his films from beginning to end; and last but hardly least, his unequivocal loathing of capitalism.
The French backs threw the ball mesmerically through many hands across the width of the pitch until fly-half Castaignede took the final pass and dived over.