rapture

1 of 2

noun

rap·​ture ˈrap-chər How to pronounce rapture (audio)
1
: an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion
2
a
: 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
rapturous
ˈrap-chə-rəs How to pronounce rapture (audio)
ˈrap-shrəs
adjective
rapturously adverb
rapturousness noun

rapture

2 of 2

verb

raptured; rapturing; raptures

transitive verb

1
: to fill with joy : enrapture
How buoyant his heart! and so melted with tender thoughts, so raptured with imaginings! Baynard Rush Hall
An entire generation is raptured by the Netflix original, "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness." Rachel Mckenzie
2
: to cause (a Christian believer) to be taken up into heaven during the end-time
He clearly and persuasively argues from Scripture that Christians … will be raptured Octavio Paz
The whole chapter is Paul's exhortation concerning Christ's resurrection. … He talks about those who will not die but be changed (raptured) and receive their glorified bodies. Tara Wentworth
… the faithful would have a reward better than eternal life after death. They'd skip death entirely, raptured Joshua Rivera

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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

Example Sentences

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
If the rapture is indeed imminent, expect the raver pop-rock princess to party all the way to the end of the world. Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2022 For the truth is that the drug, like heroin, after the first rapture, soon reveals its true addictive nature and, like many drugs taken long enough, can lead its addict right to the gutter. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 15 June 2022 The vertiginous composition incorporates tropes of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, which, having become second nature to Howe, hardly vitiate the intensity of this particular religious rapture. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 4 July 2022 Her story, a gay Black woman’s glorious rise—buoyed by an apocalyptic rapture—is the novel’s standout twist against convention. Hillary Kelly, The Atlantic, 16 June 2022 His London nocturnes put the hardest of hearts in rapture. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 9 July 2022 Mark Twain, a visiting Yankee not quite at Victoria’s court, grasped something deeper about the rapture of the crowd. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 Incomparable, that is, until 2007, when Michael Tilson Thomas matched his mentor on the rapture scale in a deeply probing performance of music seldom probed. Los Angeles Times, 13 July 2022 When Raffi finds transcendence playing soccer, that is when his father’s narrative of the encounter—imparting a valuable social and emotional skill to my son—falls away to the rapture of regular intimacy, the thrill of just being alive in the world. Phillip Maciak, The New Republic, 27 June 2022
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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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"

Verb

derivative of rapture entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1636, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rapture was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near rapture

Cite this Entry

“Rapture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapture. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition

rapture

noun

rap·​ture ˈrap-chər How to pronounce rapture (audio)
: a strong feeling of joy, delight, or love

More from Merriam-Webster on rapture

Last Updated: 22 Sep 2022

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