ravish

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman, from Old French raviss-, present participle stem of ravir (to seize, take away hastily), from Late Latin *rapire, from Latin rapere.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

ravish (third-person singular simple present ravishes, present participle ravishing, simple past and past participle ravished)

  1. (obsolete or archaic) To seize and carry away by violence; to snatch by force.
  2. (transitive, usually passive) To transport with joy or delight; to delight to ecstasy.
    • 1873, Jules Verne, chapter 9, Around the World in 80 Days[1]:
      Passepartout was ravished to behold this celebrated place, and thought that, with its circular walls and dismantled fort, it looked like an immense coffee-cup and saucer.
  3. (transitive, now rare) To rape.
    • 1759, Voltaire, chapter 8, Candide[2]:
      A tall Bulgarian soldier, six feet high, perceiving that I had fainted away at this sight, attempted to ravish me; the operation brought me to my senses. I cried, I struggled, I bit, I scratched, I would have torn the tall Bulgarian’s eyes out, not knowing that what had happened at my father’s castle was a customary thing.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.x:
      For loe that Guest would beare her forcibly, / And meant to ravish her, that rather had to dy.

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