rav·​ish·​ing | \ˈra-vi-shiŋ \

Definition of ravishing 

: unusually attractive, pleasing, or striking

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Other Words from ravishing

ravishingly \ ˈra-​vi-​shiŋ-​lē \ 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

Mortality is a subtle subtext in Dan McCleary’s ravishing exhibition of recent paintings, drawings and etchings, some hand-colored with pastels and watercolors. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Dan McCleary's paintings: Life at its peak beauty, but then what?," 14 June 2018 Lost in all the recent chatter about the Zika virus, political corruption, and economic collapse is the fact that this is one of the most visually ravishing—and topographically extreme—corners of the planet. Priscilla Eakeley, Town & Country, "The Town & Country Grand Tour," 5 Oct. 2016 The ravishing original musical about an Egyptian orchestra who find themselves in unknown territory in an unheard of town in Israel picked up a staggering ten awards—including best actor and actress, and best musical. Maria Ward, Vogue, "The Band’s Visit Wins Big at the Tony Awards—And Celebrates Accordingly," 11 June 2018 His ravishing story quilts inspired by the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831 are showcased through Sept. 2 in the Baltimore Museum of Art, will travel to Los Angeles and were praised in The New York Times. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Artists explore American identity in Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit," 21 June 2018 Nicole Duennebier’s paintings imagine undersea life in the manner of 17th-century Dutch still lifes, heaving with ravishing abundance. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Pushing Painting’ presents the medium’s possibilities," 20 June 2018 Hailey Kilgore’s performance as Ti Moune is ravishing, grounding the entire production in earnest warmth, while Michael Arden’s staging is intimate and robust. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 Bruton’s most renowned attraction, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, features five galleries, an eclectic bar and restaurant, and a ravishing garden designed by Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf, the architect behind New York City’s High Line. Jaimie Potters, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is The Small British Town You Haven’t Heard of–But Need to Visit," 31 May 2018 Henry VIII was already married when the ravishing Anne Boleyn caught his eye. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the brutal anniversary of a royal beheading," 17 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of ravishing

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near ravishing






ravison oil


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Time Traveler for ravishing

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

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More Definitions for ravishing



English Language Learners Definition of ravishing

: very beautiful


rav·​ish·​ing | \ˈra-vi-shiŋ \

Kids Definition of ravishing

: very beautiful

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More from Merriam-Webster on ravishing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ravishing

Spanish Central: Translation of ravishing

Nglish: Translation of ravishing for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ravishing

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


full of whispering sounds

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