rap·​ture | \ ˈrap-chər How to pronounce rapture (audio) \

Definition of rapture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion
2a : a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
b : a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things
3 often capitalized : the final assumption of Christians into heaven during the end-time according to Christian theology


raptured; rapturing

Definition of rapture (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from rapture


rapturous \ ˈrap-​chə-​rəs How to pronounce rapture (audio) , ˈrap-​shrəs \ adjective
rapturously adverb
rapturousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rapture


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 rapture in a Sentence

Noun We listened with rapture as the orchestra played. He listened to the wind in the trees, his eyes closed in rapture. Verb nature lovers will be raptured by the documentary's breathtaking cinematography
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Decent rapture can’t help but conjure the indecent variety; Millay knew both well. Maggie Doherty, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Some agents’ eyes glazed over when the couple talked about the fishing lodge, but the mention of orcas and black bears commanded complete rapture. Jen Murphy, Robb Report, 7 May 2022 Maybe God was preparing for the rapture, Pam thought. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2022 To be surrounded by books is to be held rapt in an enchanted circle and to experience the rapture of being transported to other worlds. New York Times, 24 Dec. 2021 There were hugs for family and a rapture that seemed primed for confetti and a presentation of the Larry O’Brien trophy. Jason Gay, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2022 The Benedictus begins with four rapture-seeking vocal soloists (sopranos Brenda Rae and Miah Persson, tenor Attilio Glaser and bass Michael Sumuel) and an accommodating orchestra in excited anticipation. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2022 The ensemble is no cult, but submitting to its collective rapture is better than church. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 29 Mar. 2022 Before the plot kicks in, Decker, working with the cinematographer Ava Berkofsky, conjures a free-floating imagistic rapture of memory by way of sun, light, water, and gleam, with swooping and swirling camerawork. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Monk’s story is peppered with supernatural details, talk of evil spirits and unaccountable noises, and even an extremely old nun who may or may not rapture herself to heaven daily. Mike Mariani, Slate Magazine, 22 Mar. 2017 At this time of year, Linnaeus had reached the farthest and most remote part of his journey, an alpine region, where he was driven to rapture by the diversity of flowering plants. James Prosek, New York Times, 16 May 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of rapture


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1637, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rapture


rapt + -ure; (sense 3) probably after the use of rapere in the Vulgate (1 Thessalonians 4:17) to translate Greek harpázein "to take hold of, seize, snatch up"


derivative of rapture entry 1

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The first known use of rapture was in 1594

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rapture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapture. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rapture


rap·​ture | \ ˈrap-chər How to pronounce rapture (audio) \

Kids Definition of rapture

: a strong feeling of joy, delight, or love

More from Merriam-Webster on rapture

Nglish: Translation of rapture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rapture for Arabic Speakers


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