: lifted up and carried away
: transported with emotion : enraptured
: wholly absorbed : engrossed
raptly adverb
raptness noun

Example Sentences

The students listened with rapt attention. The children sat rapt as the puppets danced.
Recent Examples on the Web One Friday evening in 1919, as Watson lectured about this research in New York City, a young woman in the audience sat in rapt attention. Virginia Hughes Desiree Rios, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2022 But the Kentucky native nevertheless waged a command performance at the Detroit Tigers’ ballpark, playing for a packed and rapt crowd that appeared to number about 30,000 in the first Michigan stadium show of his career. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 9 July 2022 In it, the directors and screenwriters, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, displayed a sincere and rapt fascination with the philosophical implications of life as a simulation. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 24 Dec. 2021 The place is packed and the audience is rapt for the matinee. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2022 In 1922, the Moscow Art Theatre undertook its first tour of the United States, performing its repertory for rapt American audiences and solidifying its reputation among the cognoscenti. Evan Kindley, The New Republic, 31 Jan. 2022 Zen practitioners will pay rapt attention to the interviewer and engage in the conversation without entertaining extraneous thoughts. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 British crowds near Buckingham Palace took in the proceedings with rapt attention, watching in silence with respectful solemnity as military representatives from the U.K. and the Commonwealth marched by with the queen's coffin. WSJ, 19 Sep. 2022 In front of him stands a line of hundreds of fans, each one with rapt attention, each with a different expectation in mind of what a person like Hall should be or should do. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, "carried off (of a soul to heaven)," borrowed from Latin raptus, past participle of rapere "to seize and carry off, take away by force, carry or sweep along" (Medieval Latin also "to carry away [a soul to heaven]") — more at rapid entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rapt was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near rapt

Cite this Entry

“Rapt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapt. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

: showing complete delight or interest
listened with rapt attention
raptly adverb
raptness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rapt

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