ravish

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: to seize and take away by violence
b
: to overcome with emotion (such as joy or delight)
ravished by the scenic beauty
2
ravisher noun
ravishment noun

Examples of ravish in a Sentence

invaders guilty of murdering and ravishing villagers travelers have long been ravished with wonder and awe by the immensity of the Great Pyramid at Giza
Recent Examples on the Web An unresolved culture war, plus the ravishing effects of the pandemic, have sewn bleakness and disillusionment into Chilean music. Richard Villegas, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 The Van Gogh Museum shines a light on the ravishing work of an artist who died tragically in 2019. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 28 Mar. 2024 The score was made to ravish, Zemlinsky being a master of breathtakingly lush orchestration. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Shogun has been especially praised — in Japan as well as the U.S. — for the cultural accuracy and ravishing detail of its world-building, taking viewers into an alluring and reasonably convincing version of 17th century feudal Japan. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Mar. 2024 It was nominated for seven Oscars, including picture, art direction, and costume, and won for Dario Marianelli’s score—but many will remember most Knightley’s ravishing green silk dress in a pivotal scene. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 22 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, Taylor-Joy, 27, looked ravishing in a gold Maison Margiela SS24 Couture gown with a black sheer overlay and full skirt. Rebecca Aizin, Peoplemag, 26 Feb. 2024 All combine clarity of construction, riveting detail and ravishing color. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2024 All the world wants something from Ferrari, who in turn seems to care only about his racecars, ravishing red beasts that roar out of his factory near his home in Modena and into the world’s fastest, most lethally dangerous races, where records, machines and bodies are routinely broken. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 24 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ravish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near ravish

Cite this Entry

“Ravish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravish. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

ravish

verb
rav·​ish ˈrav-ish How to pronounce ravish (audio)
1
: to seize and take away by violence
2
3
: to overcome with a feeling and especially a feeling of joy or delight
ravisher noun

Legal Definition

ravish

transitive verb
rav·​ish ˈra-vish How to pronounce ravish (audio)
: rape
ravishment noun
Etymology

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

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