Definition of beguile in English:



  • 1Charm or enchant (someone), often in a deceptive way.

    ‘he beguiled the voters with his good looks’
    • ‘Think you can smooth-tongue me, trick me, beguile me?’
    • ‘He beguiles his friends and infuriates his enemies, to the point where they can hardly mention his name.’
    • ‘His regulars were bright friends with beguiling personalities and good stories, not stars with a movie to push.’
    • ‘The clean air, the salty spray and the charming surroundings have beguiled visitors for years.’
    • ‘If Hart hadn't swept our dear girl Stella off her feet, I might have to try and beguile her with my charm.’
    • ‘The author is obviously beguiled by his subject and the relationship does seem quite endearing as the yarns bloom.’
    • ‘Her smile beguiled Paul, and for a very brief second he forgot what he was supposed to do.’
    • ‘That girl in Portsmouth with the red hair had beguiled him!’
    • ‘When Juliette is beguiled by the charms of Paris, Jean believes he has lost her.’
    • ‘It kept calling him… beguiling him… spellbinding him!’
    • ‘My inner cynic suspects that the unusual story has beguiled these writers into believing in the characters.’
    • ‘Colour barely stimulated him but drawing beguiled him.’
    • ‘She is a fascinating, beguiling woman who I feel very privileged to have met in the flesh.’
    • ‘But you were quickly beguiled by the ‘masculine’ voice of the cello.’
    • ‘Jacob knew now, trusting in God as he was, that he did not need to manipulate and beguile and cheat to find favour for himself and his loved ones; he did not have to worry about his welfare.’
    • ‘He was a typical graduate student in that he loved to deconstruct everything, and I was particularly beguiled by his amazing ability to take any issue and argue all points of view whether or not he agreed with any of it.’
    • ‘She was taken with this older man, worn smooth by experience and still a celebrity of sorts; he was beguiled by her youth and beauty.’
    • ‘She who remains a mystery to most, and who beguiles me at the same time as intriguing me and generating great affection in the process.’
    • ‘It beguiled her, soothed her, eased away the pain and turmoil she had lived through all day, banished thought from her mind.’
    • ‘I was beguiled by the confidence and humility of this woman.’
    • ‘There has been nothing new in the arguments… to dredge all of this [up] as somehow a national scandal or people being beguiled or so forth is nonsense unless people are totally naïve.’
    charming, attractive, appealing, pleasing, pleasant, lovely, delightful, enchanting, entrancing, charismatic, captivating, bewitching, spellbinding, hypnotizing, mesmerizing, magnetic, alluring, enticing, tempting, inviting, seductive, irresistible
    charm, attract, enchant, entrance, win over, woo, captivate, bewitch, spellbind, dazzle, blind, hypnotize, mesmerize, seduce, tempt, lead on, lure, entice, ensnare, entrap
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    1. 1.1 Trick (someone) into doing something.
      ‘they were beguiled into signing a peace treaty’
      • ‘This is a student-run event, but they hope to beguile their audience into thinking that they are attending a professional London event.’
      • ‘Even very senior officers can beguiled into behaving unbecomingly, cruelly, and destructively while believing they are acting in the best tradition of the service.’
      • ‘It is plain that her own propaganda, her sheer longevity and the defeat of the Armada have beguiled us into ignoring the problems of her reign.’
      • ‘She said that her son had been beguiled into joining the Sikh bands, but was not a Sikh at heart.’
      • ‘Decision makers beguiled into adopting a course of action may update their beliefs and abandon it.’
      • ‘That was our plan, but we were beguiled by the mountain's glistening raiment into something rather more challenging.’
      • ‘Worse yet, these ‘other’ people are beguiled into actually believing this nonsense.’
      • ‘The answer is that he was beguiled into thinking about language and the world in terms of a particular model.’
      • ‘Just think back to before you met this David and the other foreigners who beguiled you into shipping your nation's jobs overseas.’
      • ‘Her sad puppy eyed look was famous for beguiling you into just about anything.’
      • ‘The dreamlike atmosphere of harmony and tranquillity beguiles you into thinking that nothing bad could ever happen in such a beautiful place.’
      deceive, delude, hoodwink, mislead, take in, dupe, fool, double-cross, cheat, defraud, swindle, outwit, outmanoeuvre, catch out, gull, hoax, bamboozle
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  • 2literary Help (time) pass pleasantly.

    ‘to beguile some of the time they went to the cinema’
    • ‘We beguiled our time chiefly in eating and drinking.’
    • ‘By the way, in those times cards were not only a means to beguile the time, but also a symbol of the society structure: hearts embodied the priests, diamonds meant the bourgeoisie, spades represented officers and aristocracy, clubs referred to the peasants.’
    • ‘To beguile the time he talks of Transylvanian history with the mayor.’
    • ‘The train was rather late, so we beguiled the time by counting our pocket money and comparing notes thereon.’
    • ‘Books should beguile the time.’
    entertain, amuse, delight, please, occupy, absorb, engage, distract, divert, interest, fascinate, enthral, engross, preoccupy, hold the attention of
    while away, pass, spend, use up, take up
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Middle English (in the sense ‘deceive, deprive of by fraud’): from be- ‘thoroughly’ + obsolete guile ‘to deceive’ (see guile).