rav·ish | \ˈra-vish \
ravished; ravishing; ravishes

Definition of ravish 

transitive verb

1a : to seize and take away by violence

b : to overcome with emotion (such as joy or delight) ravished by the scenic beauty

c : rape entry 1 sense 1

2 : plunder, rob

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Other Words from ravish

ravisher noun
ravishment \ˈra-vish-mənt \ noun

Examples of ravish in a Sentence

tales of Caribbean pirates who abducted fair maidens and ravished them without mercy travelers have long been ravished with wonder and awe by the immensity of the Great Pyramid at Giza

Recent Examples on the Web

Fans who tune in to be ravished by the show’s psychedelia and then dissect it on Reddit will be satisfied, and skeptics who see Hawley as a mascot for the excesses of peak TV may still do so. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Does Legion Have a Soul?," 4 Apr. 2018 Violence, famine and disease have ravished the country of some 28 million, which was already the Arab world’s poorest before the conflict began. Washington Post, "War leaves Yemen’s Aden hollowed-out shadow of former self," 14 June 2018 Violence, famine and disease have ravished the country of some 28 million, which was already the Arab world's poorest before the conflict began. Fox News, "War leaves Yemen's Aden hollowed-out shadow of former self," 14 June 2018 Lucy Crowe brought ravishing brilliance to the peri. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "'Das Paradies': A giant globular tear as ticket to heaven," 4 June 2018 Consider the centuries of ravishing Catholic artworks: medieval altarpieces, Raphael Madonnas, the stained glass at Chartres. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Show Is Worth the Pilgrimage," 10 May 2018 Also on view are Kusama's ravishing early abstractions on paper from the 1950s and '60s, characterized by deeply nuanced textures and abstract forms. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Kusama 'Infinity Mirrors' show in Toronto offers preview of what's coming to Cleveland (photos)," 6 May 2018 Perez invested Marguerite’s music with ravishing delicacy and grace, and had no trouble summoning full-toned intensity for the character’s emotionally fraught scenes later in the opera. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Splendid cast gives Gounod his due in muddled 'Faust' at Lyric Opera," 4 Mar. 2018 The country superstar looked ravishing in red in a flowing gown with a cut-out, sequined bodice. Melody Chiu, PEOPLE.com, "Miranda Lambert Is Ravishing in Red as She Hits the ACMs Solo After Anderson East Split," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ravish.' 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 ravish

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

History and Etymology for ravish

Middle English ravisshen, from Anglo-French raviss-, stem of ravir, from Vulgar Latin *rapire, alteration of Latin rapere to seize, rob — more at rapid

Middle English, to seize and take away by violence, from Middle French raviss-, stem of ravir, ultimately from Latin rapere to seize, rob

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

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More Definitions for ravish


rav·ish | \ˈra-vish \
ravished; ravishing

Kids Definition of ravish

1 : to seize and take away by force

2 : to fill with joy or delight

rav·ish | \ˈra-vish \

Legal Definition of ravish 

: rape

Other Words from ravish

ravishment noun

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Comments on ravish

What made you want to look up ravish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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