\ ˈthrȯl How to pronounce thrall (audio) \

Definition of thrall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a state of servitude or submission in thrall to his emotions
b : a state of complete absorption mountains could hold me in thrall with a subtle attraction of their own— Elyne Mitchell
2a : a servant slave : bondman also : serf
b : a person in moral or mental servitude


thralled; thralling; thralls

Definition of thrall (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from thrall


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for thrall

Synonyms: Noun

bondman (also bondsman), chattel, slave

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of thrall in a Sentence


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

Even when a third party (Christopher Innvar) appears on the scene and sets the usual romantic complications in motion, Alice and Edgar remain tightly focused on one another, neither willing nor able to break the spell that holds them in thrall. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘The Dance of Death’ and ‘Mies Julie’ Reviews: Strindberg—Sort Of," 14 Feb. 2019 At the time, Karl was in the thrall of the madcap Princesse Diane de Beauvau Craon who was the establishment’s defacto hostess. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers the Unparalleled Energy, Wicked Wit, and Insatiable Curiosity of Karl Lagerfeld," 20 Feb. 2019 And all of them are just as much in karmic thrall as the grandees who came before them, undone by ambition, rashness and cosmic retribution. Daniel Akst, WSJ, "‘The Hazards of Good Fortune’ Review: An Unforgiven Overreacher," 5 Oct. 2018 But Toronto offered two things that no one else could: The NHL's best young core, and the thrall of home. Alex Prewitt,, "In Joining an Up-and-Coming Maple Leafs Squad, John Tavares Gets to Live Out His Dream," 2 July 2018 Mussorgsky’s 1869 first version is a spare, two-hour work that was shockingly pointed politically, a portrait of a tsar for whom the thrall of power cannot overcome the buffeting by a fickle public, court intrigue and his own guilt. Mark Swed,, "Searching for Russia's soul, then and now, in 'Boris Godunov'," 19 June 2018 There are hints of tyranny in how Maeve and Dolores are progressing through the park, winning some hosts to their side and compelling others to serve as thralls. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: A Cut Above," 20 May 2018 Connecting Negan, now as in thrall to vengeance as Rick was in last week’s episode, with his enemy through Carl’s letters is a powerful moment. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The Walking Dead Villain Watch season 8, episode 15: Worth," 9 Apr. 2018 Sports has long been in thrall to its ownership, and coaching demi-gods, and not the actual talent that drives the games. Jason Gay, WSJ, "I Won’t Whine About LeBron’s Wine," 3 Jan. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for thrall

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for thrall

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on thrall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thrall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thrall

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

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