Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to mesmerism: animal magnetism


the study of or the method or practice of inducing hypnosis.


A system of therapeutics from which were developed hypnotism and therapeutic suggestion.
[F.A. Mesmer, Austrio-Hungarian physician, 1734-1815]


/mes·mer·ism/ (mez´mer-izm) hypnotism.


(mĕz′mə-rĭz′əm, mĕs′-)
1. A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination.
2. Hypnotic induction believed to involve animal magnetism.
3. Hypnotism.

mes·mer′ic (-mĕr′ĭk) adj.
mes·mer′i·cal·ly adv.
mes′mer·ist n.


Etymology: Franz A. Mesmer, Austrian physician, 1734-1815
a practice of hypnotism introduced by Mesmer, who believed human health was affected by "celestial magnetic forces." Some patients were reported cured or experienced diminished symptoms by undergoing a "grand crisis," or seizure, while under hypnosis. Mesmer was regarded as a fraud by the medical profession, but his work led to serious studies of the health effects of the power of suggestion.
A method of hypnosis that allegedly placed patients in a trance-like state deep enough to allow major surgery without pain, or awareness of the operation, named for Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer, who developed it


A system of therapeutics from which were developed hypnotism and therapeutic suggestion.


Franz Anton, Austrian physician, 1733-1815.
mesmeric crisis - reaction technique. Synonym(s): grand crisis; magnetic crisis
mesmerism - the use of hypnotism as practiced by Mesmer.

mesmerism (mezˑ·m·riˈ·zm), the therapy advanced by the German Doctor Franz Mesmer, which involved using the power of “animal magnetism” to put people into trance; considered the predecessor of modern hypnosis. See also animal magnetism.


A system of therapeutics from which hypnotism and therapeutic suggestion developed.

Patient discussion about mesmerism

Q. HYPNOSIS can hypnosis be used in bi-polar disorder?

A. there is no reason why not. people with bipolar disorder can be susceptible to hypnosis like any others. but like all population the ability to be hypnotized is variable. some are very suggestible and some are not. doesn't say anything on the person- very smart and intelligent people can be hypnotized.

Q. How effective is hypnosis in treating alcoholism? And how expensive is it? I've already tried hypnotherapy for social anxiety problems but the guy was a useless quack and I didn't even go under properly.

A. Hypnosis is a very effective treatment for addictions, it was used back in the 19th century as one but the use of hypnosis today is smaller then before. Here is a web page with some info about it:

More discussions about mesmerism
References in periodicals archive ?
Far from rejecting science as a whole, these figures sought to link "scientific revolution" to race revolution by incorporating phrenology, mesmerism, physiology, and other fields of popular science into their acts and lectures.
Spiritism or Kardecism--as it is known in Brazil due to its founder Hippolyte Rivail's pen name, Allan Kardec (1804-69)--was a synthesis of many religious practices, such as Catholicism, Protestantism, and occult philosophies that flourished in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, including Swedenborgianism, Mesmerism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and Theosophy.
Forth, The Dreyfus Affair and the Crisis of French Manhood (Baltimore, 2004); John Warner Monroe, Laboratories of Faith: Mesmerism, Spiritism, and Occultism in Modern France (Ithaca, 2008); and Lisa Tiersten, Marianne in the Market: Envisioning Consumer Society in Fin-de-Siecle France (Berkeley, 2001).
21) On the history of French mesmerism, see Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968).
For an account of Mary Baker Eddy's strong rejection of mesmerism and spiritualism, see Albanese, Republic of Mind and Spirit, 290-94.
Kabat-Zinn's assumptions about meditation and the universality of Dharma place him squarely in a cultural, historical, and religious context that includes Swedenborgianism, Mesmerism, Transcendentalism, pragmatism, Theosophy, and New Thought.
When Strindberg Knew My Father opens at Chapter Arts Centre this week audiences will be treated to the bizarre sight of actors attempting to master the arts of levitation, mesmerism and alchemy.
However, he has also recreated the spirit of adventure that was fueled by increasing Antarctic exploration and the excitement generated by very early experiments with electricity, hot air balloons and mesmerism.
Narcissism, Sacrifice and Sorority (Albany: State U of New York P, 1999), draws upon Gelpi's use of mesmerism to interpret Panthea's dream of Prometheus to discuss Asia's transformation into the liquid fire of love and sympathy (190), Shelley's experiments with electricity (129-133), and her explanation of Asia's radiance as nutritive electromagnetic energy denied during Jupiter's reign (183).
Mesmerism and Spiritualism encouraged direct contact with the supernatural without intermediaries.
html) describes it: "This book explores all areas of the metaphysical world from early philosophies to hypnotism and mesmerism, clairvoyance, visions, right through an overview of the psycho-therapeutic practices.
When opium, mesmerism and depravity begin to seep through Pearl's pages, however, the novel turns a darker and more interesting shade of red--that of spilled blood, not womanly blushes.