rav·​ish·​ing | \ ˈra-vi-shiŋ How to pronounce ravishing (audio) \

Definition of ravishing

: unusually attractive, pleasing, or striking

Other Words from ravishing

ravishingly \ ˈra-​vi-​shiŋ-​lē How to pronounce ravishing (audio) \ adverb

ravishing or ravenous?

Ravenous and ravishing are not synonyms, and mixing these two words may lead to potentially awkward writing or conversation. Ravenous is commonly used with the meaning “very eager or greedy for food, satisfaction, or gratification,” and ravishing means “unusually attractive, pleasing, or striking.” If you find yourself hungry and standing in front of a spectacular-looking meal you would say (of the food) “that looks ravishing,” and (of yourself) “I am ravenous.” You may, of course, describe yourself as ravishing, but should be aware that you are commenting on your appearance rather than your hunger.

Examples of ravishing in a Sentence

She is a ravishing beauty. a ravishing view of the ocean
Recent Examples on the Web The heat and purity of the music make the trio both elegant and ravishing. New York Times, 6 Sep. 2018 The ravishing Keisha, 22, has just married the wealthy William Radford, a man 40 years her senior. Carol Memmott, Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2020 Other terms of praise home in on desirable attributes—this view is glorious—or describe an effect on the viewer: look at those ravishing mountains. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2020 But between the influx of modern beauty disruptors like Rihanna and Zendaya, and the 2019 Met Gala bringing the ethos of camp back into the collective conscious, here's hoping it's primed for a ravishing comeback. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 2 May 2019 Another coastal elegy, still more ravishing in its precision and restraint, is LATER: MY LIFE AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (Graywolf Press, $16), Paul Lisicky’s memoir of the complicated idyll that Provincetown offered gay men at the start of the 1990s. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, 2 Mar. 2020 The 24-year-old actress looked ravishing in a custom Louis Vuitton gown, with a daring thigh-high slit to that corset top. James Love, Essence, 22 Sep. 2019 That’s just one masterstroke in a film full of them: Michael Ballhaus’ ravishing cinematography; a powerfully wistful coda; Wharton’s wry, mannered prose transposed near-verbatim into an omniscient narrator’s sharp-tongued voice-over. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 1 Nov. 2019 White morphs are snowy in winter and brown-grey in summer, while blue morphs stay a ravishing indigo, brown and charcoal mix year-round. Steph Yin, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ravishing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ravishing

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ravishing

Middle English ravyschinge "rapacious, rapidly moving, delightful, enchanting," from present participle of ravisshen "to ravish"

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

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Cite this Entry

“Ravishing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravishing. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ravishing


rav·​ish·​ing | \ ˈra-vi-shiŋ How to pronounce ravishing (audio) \

Kids Definition of ravishing

: very beautiful

More from Merriam-Webster on ravishing

Nglish: Translation of ravishing for Spanish Speakers


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