\ ˈthrȯl How to pronounce thrall (audio) \
plural thralls

Definition of thrall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a state of servitude or submission usually used with in in thrall to his emotions
b : a state of complete absorption usually used with in … mountains could hold me in thrall with a subtle attraction of their own …— Elyne Mitchell
2a : an enslaved person who performs the duties of a servant : bondman also : serf
b : a person in moral or mental servitude


thralled; thralling; thralls

Definition of thrall (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from thrall


thrall adjective
thralldom or thraldom \ ˈthrȯl-​dəm How to pronounce thrall (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for thrall

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of thrall in a Sentence

Noun I'm not your thrall, so you'll have to pick up after yourself. a people who still bear the scars of having been in thrall for so many years
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Essex Hemphill, James Baldwin, and Isaac Julien, and his œuvre so far seems aesthetically and spiritually in thrall to Marlon Riggs. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 22 Apr. 2022 Yet Republicans, still in thrall to Trump – many of whom have signed on to his corrosive lies about election fraud to win the favor of his supporters – appear on course to capture the House, and perhaps the Senate, in midterm elections in the fall. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 12 Apr. 2022 Other than that detail, Pence, like the rest of the Republican Party, remains in thrall to Trump. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 1 Apr. 2022 But there’s something about Regency England that has people in its thrall. Nina Metz,, 28 Mar. 2022 She will certainly be alienated from the bulk of Republican voters and media figures who remain in Trump's thrall. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 12 May 2021 In resurrecting the s-word, Summers is in effect saying that if the Democrats don’t move more aggressively to tackle inflation, an opposition still in thrall to Donald Trump may once again seize power. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 16 Mar. 2022 Like Truman, Biden is facing a Republican Party in thrall to a demagogue. Beverly Gage, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 Since buying Chelsea in 2003, the Premier League has become more and more in thrall to owners like him. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of thrall


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thrall


Middle English thral, from Old English thræl, from Old Norse thræll

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Time Traveler for thrall

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The first known use of thrall was before the 12th century

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Statistics for thrall

Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thrall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of thrall for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thrall


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