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3 definitions found
 for mesmerism
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Mesmerism \Mes"mer*ism\, n. [From Mesmer, who first brought it
     into notice at Vienna, about 1775: cf. F. mesm['e]risme.]
     An earlier name for hypnosis or hypnotism, the art of
     inducing an extraordinary or abnormal state of the nervous
     system, in which the actor claims to control the actions, and
     communicate directly with the mind, of the recipient. It is
     believed to be a state between sleep and wakefulness, in
     which a person is more susceptible to suggestion than when
     awake. See Animal magnetism, under Magnetism.
     [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the act of inducing hypnosis [syn: hypnotism,
           mesmerism, suggestion]

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  MESMERISM, n.  Hypnotism before it wore good clothes, kept a carriage
  and asked Incredulity to dinner.

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