rav·​ish | \ ˈra-vish How to pronounce ravish (audio) \
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
2 : plunder, rob

Other Words from ravish

ravisher noun
ravishment \ ˈra-​vish-​mənt How to pronounce ravish (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for ravish


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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 Caroline had seen fit to have her pony make the homeward trip with its hindquarters thrust into Delphine’s ravished clothes. Zora Neale Hurston, Harper's magazine, 6 Jan. 2020 Throwback romantics can be ravished by the unparalleled vocal stylings of Lalah Hathaway (Nov. 15, Sony Hall), and millennial audiences will find a patron saint in the unfeigned lyricism of Summer Walker (Dec. 7-8, Terminal 5). Briana Younger, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2019 There was surely formal kinship — ravishing color, gestural verve — and personal admiration. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2019 The choral music flips back and forth from the bamboo grove to the center of the atrium and to speakers installed on the baobab tree, creating sonic experiences of intimacy, grandeur and ravishing beauty. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, 11 Aug. 2019 Set during China’s Three Kingdoms era (A.D. 220-280), this action extravaganza ravishes the retina with only a narrow segment of spectrum. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 2 May 2019 French-Cuban twins Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, also known as polystylistic R&B duo Ibeyi, masterfully transform firsthand experiences and thoughts into something universal on their ravishing second album, Ash (XL). Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 2 Nov. 2017 See More

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.

First Known Use of ravish

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

History and Etymology for ravish

Middle English ravisshen "to seize forcefully, plunder, carry away, carry off (a woman) in order to sexually assault her, seize as prey, carry up (into heaven), enrapture, sweep along," borrowed from Anglo-French raviss-, stem of ravir (also continental Old & Middle French), going back to Vulgar Latin *rapīre, re-formation of Latin rapere "to seize and carry off, take away by force, carry off a woman with the intent of sexually assaulting her, carry or sweep along, impel forcibly (to a course of conduct), snatch up, gather quickly" — more at rapid entry 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Ravish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravish. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for ravish


rav·​ish | \ ˈra-vish How to pronounce ravish (audio) \
ravished; ravishing

Kids Definition of ravish

1 : to seize and take away by force
2 : to fill with joy or delight


transitive verb
rav·​ish | \ ˈra-vish How to pronounce ravish (audio) \

Legal Definition of ravish

: rape

Other Words from ravish

ravishment noun

History and Etymology for ravish

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ravish

Nglish: Translation of ravish for Spanish Speakers


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