Hyp"no*tism (?), n. [Gr. sleep: cf. F. hypnotisme.]
A form of sleep or somnambulism brought on by artificial means, in which there is an unusual suspension of some powers, and an unusual activity of others. It is induced by an action upon the nerves, through the medium of the senses, as in persons of very feeble organization, by gazing steadly at a very bright object held before the eyes, or by pressure upon certain points of the surface of the body.
© Webster 1913.