Definition of hypnotic in US English:



  • 1Of, producing, or relating to hypnosis.

    ‘a hypnotic state’
    • ‘Incidentally, this article was written through the use of several of the hypnotic techniques mentioned within it.’
    • ‘The deep relaxation of a hypnotic trance is also broadly beneficial as many illnesses are aggravated by anxiety and muscle tension.’
    • ‘After receiving hypnotic psychotherapy, she remembered falling off a bicycle when riding down a slope about 10 years earlier.’
    • ‘The importance of using both high and low hypnotizable subjects in hypnotic pain research is emphasized.’
    • ‘A small number of people who go into a very deep hypnotic state experience spontaneous amnesia.’
    • ‘She maintains that hypnotic subjects are asked basically to take on ‘what really amounts to a parody of epileptic symptoms.’’
    • ‘Charcot demonstrated that such paralyses could be cured, and then artificially produced again, by hypnotic suggestion.’
    • ‘More recently, Elkins described a brief hypnotic intervention for insomnia.’
    • ‘At times, we would simply drift along the coral wall and go into a dreamy hypnotic state in the calm of the deep blue sea.’
    • ‘His clinical and research interests include the treatment of anxiety disorders and hypnotic interventions.’
    • ‘That means that the eye roll accounts for very little of the subject's hypnotic behavior.’
    1. 1.1 Exerting a compelling, fascinating, or soporific effect.
      ‘her voice had a hypnotic quality’
      • ‘However, the majority of the film was smooth, multi-layered, and tight, like sublime lyrics over a hypnotic beat.’
      • ‘He understands the nature of composition, the juxtaposition of light and dark, and the hypnotic wonder of color and texture.’
      • ‘In human form she is a beautiful young woman with hypnotic amber eyes and pale hair.’
      • ‘Guitar and bass driven repetitions have the hypnotic seduction of Stereolab at their best.’
      • ‘The album is based around beautiful hypnotic drones, kind of avant-garde and kind of calming at the same time.’
      • ‘‘Remember Me’ contains one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time and ‘Fear Of Drowning’ is wonderfully hypnotic.’
      • ‘His voice may not be as pure as it once was, nor soar quite so magnificently, but it is still wonderfully hypnotic.’
      • ‘We struggle to make sense of that, and despite our hypnotic attraction for all things royal, we turn the page.’
      • ‘This celebration conveys its own hypnotic delight, inviting us to suspend unanswerable questions about its ultimate purpose.’
      • ‘Ehko couldn't help but stare, it was hypnotic, this strange beautiful creature just totally absorbed in licking a spoon.’
      • ‘The thing about that record is that it has some kind of hypnotic appeal.’
      • ‘Gazing at a star-studded night sky is a truly beautiful and hypnotic experience.’
      • ‘Given the movie's form and content, Stardom is equally driven by the writer/director's fascination with television's hypnotic power.’
      • ‘Her sisters had been praised and admired and stared at all their lives for their spellbinding, hypnotic electric-blue eyes.’
      • ‘Just got it last week, straight in from Japan and it's wonderful, hypnotic stuff.’
      • ‘What's bewitching, even hypnotic, about fly-fishing is the cast.’
      • ‘This compilation sounds like nothing else and proves to be strangely hypnotic and fascinating.’
      • ‘His eyes were a hypnotic green and beautifully set into a handsome, chiseled face.’
      • ‘Her heady, hypnotic drumming intensifies both the mood and pace.’
      • ‘As he spoke for those two hypnotic hours, he appealed not to my emotion, but to reason.’
      mesmerizing, mesmeric, spellbinding, entrancing, bewitching, fascinating, irresistible, compelling
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  • 2Medicine
    (of a drug) sleep-inducing.

    • ‘This is especially true in elderly people and for hypnotic drugs.’
    • ‘Patients typically need large doses of sedative hypnotic drugs and four-point restraints during this stage.’
    • ‘Although used more often for its hypnotic properties, valerian is taken to relieve mild symptoms of anxiety.’
    • ‘All subjects were in good health and had no contraindications to hypnotic medications.’
    • ‘The team decided to try a mild hypnotic drug on an as-needed basis to help the patient sleep better during restless nights.’


  • 1Medicine
    A sleep-inducing drug.

    • ‘Running totals of hypnotics were not carried over from the previous month.’
    • ‘It's been regarded more as a hypnotic and it also has strong muscle relaxing effects.’
    • ‘‘Pediatricians recommend everything from benadryl to hypnotics to chamomile tea,’ she says.’
    • ‘Rates of use of antidepressants and hypnotics were similar for both groups.’
    • ‘Even in Thailand, with much available over the counter, hypnotics are not OTC and should only be taken as the last resort.’
    sedative, tranquillizer, calmative, sleeping pill, soporific, opiate, hypnotic
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  • 2A person under or open to the influence of hypnotism.


Early 17th century: from French hypnotique, via late Latin from Greek hupnōtikos ‘causing sleep’, from hupnoun ‘put to sleep’, from hupnos ‘sleep’.