Mesmerism is ann early name for hypnosis, named after the eighteenth century exponent, the Austrian physician Franz Mesmer (who called it animal magnetism).  

Webster Dictionary Meaning

1. Mesmerism
- 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. See Animal magnetism, under Magnetism.
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