Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (obsolete or archaic) To seize and carry away by violence; to snatch by force.
- (transitive, usually passive) To transport with joy or delight; to delight to ecstasy.
- (transitive, now rare) To rape.
1759, Voltaire, chapter 8, in Candide:
- 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.
seize and carry away by violence; snatch by force
transport with joy or delight; delight to ecstasy
rape — see rape