Popularised by Anton Mesmer in the late 18th century, animal magnetism was later replaced by the modern day synonym Hypnotism. It was literally believed at the time to be a form of magnetism different from ferro-magnetism, and attracted serious research in its day. It failed to meet the rigorous standards set by science but remained fashionable and popular nonetheless - it could be said to be one of the first homeopathic treatments.

From an aesthetic viewpoint, animal magnetism is a more poetic and charming term than hypnotism, and doesn't deserve its current death in the English language.