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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 ?
The suggestion is most mesmerically evoked perhaps in the epitaphic lyric "A slumber did my spirit seal," in which the most immaterial of all elements ("spirit") is (de)compositionally envisioned as communing eternally with the most emphatically material of substances: "rocks and stones.
Arriving on the DuMont airwaves in 1949 and sticking it out until the network shut down six years later, Captain Video was the first, the last, and certainly the mightiest (he had to be; the prop budget was just $25 a week) of the rocket-jock heroes who magnetically, mesmerically drew America's kids to those early TV sets.
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.
No need for one here: these brilliant instrumentalists, and such an empathetic protagonist, had the piece clutched firmly within themselves, and unfolded it mesmerically.
And don't be surprised if the stepover routine Ronaldo carried out so mesmerically returns to the United menu in the months ahead.