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)

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Other Words from rapture


rapturous \ ˈrap-​chə-​rəs How to pronounce rapturous (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The toned women in leggings Instagramming their flowers and muscles and bowls of miraculous grains are mimicking Shelley or Wordsworth’s rapture. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "A Satire That Demolishes the Influencer Industry," 1 July 2020 At Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano on San Antonio’s far North Side, every fourth table was draped in white Friday night, like ghosts wandering through what’s left behind after the rapture. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Dining critic Mike Sutter on what it’s like to eat out on San Antonio restaurants’ reopening day, at Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano," 1 May 2020 Months later, the memory of his rapture was still enough to move his wife to tears. BostonGlobe.com, "As his Alzheimer’s looms, Charles and Pam Ogletree take one last walk in love - The Boston Globe," 27 Oct. 2019 The congregants had isolated themselves in the church to wait out the rapture (falsely predicted by their con-man preacher). Dallas News, "Art and the City: A love letter to Dallas theater, and how storytelling can help us through crisis," 11 Apr. 2020 Anyone working in health care still enjoys the rapture of action. oregonlive, "As coronavirus outbreak rips through New York City, doctor on front lines leads with words and actions," 23 Mar. 2020 Part of the rapture of losing yourself is gaining another: entering a different consciousness and learning a new way of being. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "How Can I Open Myself Up to New Romantic Relationships?," 12 Feb. 2020 The view from the River Room — the event room upstairs — inspires raptures, the setting sun lighting up a lazy bend in the Farmington River, the space opening to a balcony outfitted with high-top tables, perched over woods and water. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "Review: A lavish new setting in Farmington for Wood-n-Tap’s consistently great but unpretentious fare," 12 Dec. 2019 Extended drones, chantlike repeating phrases, tolling chords, spacious reverberation: Those are meditative sounds, defying fracture or interruption, tuning out the momentary and the trivial, invoking concentration, absorption, ritual and rapture. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Nick Cave Searches for Solace on ‘Ghosteen’," 9 Oct. 2019 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, "Nativism, Violence, and the Origins of the Paranoid Style," 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, "A Botanist in Swedish Lapland," 16 May 2017

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.

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First Known Use of rapture


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1637, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rapture


Latin raptus

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Time Traveler for rapture

Time Traveler

The first known use of rapture was in 1594

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Statistics for rapture

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rapture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapture. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for rapture


How to pronounce rapture (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rapture

literary + formal : a state or feeling of great happiness, pleasure, or love


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

Kids Definition of rapture

: a strong feeling of joy, delight, or love

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More from Merriam-Webster on rapture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rapture

Spanish Central: Translation of rapture

Nglish: Translation of rapture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rapture for Arabic Speakers

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