ec·​sta·​sy | \ˈek-stə-sē \
plural ecstasies

Definition of ecstasy 

1a : a state of being beyond reason and self-control

b archaic : swoon

2 : a state of overwhelming emotion especially : rapturous delight

3 : trance especially : a mystic or prophetic trance

4 often capitalized : a synthetic amphetamine analog C11H15NO2 used illicitly for its mood-enhancing and hallucinogenic properties

called also MDMA

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Choose the Right Synonym for ecstasy

ecstasy, rapture, transport mean intense exaltation of mind and feelings. ecstasy and rapture both suggest a state of trance or near immobility produced by an overpowering emotion. ecstasy may apply to any strong emotion (such as joy, fear, rage, adoration). religious ecstasy rapture usually implies intense bliss or beatitude. in speechless rapture transport applies to any powerful emotion that lifts one out of oneself and usually provokes vehement expression or frenzied action. in a transport of rage

Examples of ecstasy in a Sentence

His performance sent the audience into ecstasies. actors are typically in ecstasy upon winning an Oscar

Recent Examples on the Web

Zurbarán only soared into the canon in the 1840s, when the Louvre opened its Galerie Espagnole, and Parisians discovered his frank, no-nonsense pictures of saints in agony and ecstasy. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Jacob and His Twelve Sons’: Zurbarán’s Biblical All-Stars," 14 Mar. 2018 McKinney’s statement said the drugs allegedly used included cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy and mushrooms. Sarah Larimer, Washington Post, "Nine midshipmen facing disciplinary action as Naval Academy investigates drug use," 12 Mar. 2018 In humans, this transporter regulates mood and, when exposed to MDMA, loosens social inhibitions—part of why ecstasy is so popular as a party drug. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Octopuses Take Ecstasy for Science and Become More Social Creatures," 20 Sep. 2018 As Croatia’s players bounced around in ecstasy and as Russia’s collapsed, disconsolate, onto their backs, the losing team’s assistant manager sat down, frozen in place on the Fisht Stadium’s turf. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Russia Finally Falls, Leaving a Trail of Admirers and Doubters," 8 July 2018 Two years ago, there was no hope of imagining the St George’s Park pathway graduate punching the air in ecstasy after leading England to a World Cup semi final., "90Min World Cup Fan Diaries: Starting to Believe," 8 July 2018 Abounding in ecstasy, Peruvians decided to get creative. Pamela Bustios, Billboard, "10 Best Songs to Celebrate Peru's World Cup Team," 14 June 2018 Another Italian celebration, another example of pure ecstasy., "7 of the Best Celebrations in World Cup History," 31 May 2018 After Saturday's performance by the Cleveland Orchestra, the last in a three-part exploration of ecstasy in music, listeners were nowhere (besides Severance Hall) if not in a state of transcendence. Zachary Lewis,, "Cleveland Orchestra, guests conclude 'Ecstasy' series with stunning 'Divine' program (review)," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ecstasy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ecstasy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ecstasy

Middle English extasie, from Middle French, from Late Latin ecstasis, from Greek ekstasis, from existanai to derange, from ex- out + histanai to cause to stand — more at ex-, stand

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Dictionary Entries near ecstasy

ecru silk







Statistics for ecstasy

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for ecstasy

The first known use of ecstasy was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for ecstasy



English Language Learners Definition of ecstasy

: a state of very great happiness : extreme delight

: an illegal drug that is used to produce a feeling of excitement and pleasure


ec·​sta·​sy | \ˈek-stə-sē \
plural ecstasies

Kids Definition of ecstasy

: very great happiness or delight


ec·​sta·​sy | \ˈek-stə-sē \
plural ecstasies

Medical Definition of ecstasy 

1 : a trance state in which intense absorption (as in religious ideation) is accompanied by loss of sense perception and voluntary control

2 often capitalized : a synthetic amphetamine analog C11H15NO2 used illicitly for its mood-enhancing and hallucinogenic properties

called also MDMA, methylenedioxymethamphetamine, XTC

Other Words from ecstasy

ecstatic \ek-​ˈstat-​ik \ adjective

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