\ ˈthrȯl How to pronounce thrall (audio) \

Definition of thrall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a state of servitude or submission usually used with inin 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 : 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

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 Yet, despite the irony of its titular cliché, High Off Life finds Future still in the thrall of Adderall, codeine, and promethazine. Gary Suarez,, "Future stays in his narcotized comfort zone on High Off Life," 19 May 2020 Today, Scotland is in thrall to a new religion, the Church of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, which is just as menacing and humorless, and to which the Scottish government kowtows just as readily. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Scotland Swaps One Blasphemy Law for Another," 29 Apr. 2020 And the base needs red meat, according to Trump loyalists who fear that the president is in thrall to his scientific advisers, who are advocating a go-slow approach to reopening the economy. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump criticism of WHO and China stokes America First base," 16 Apr. 2020 Wiener is our guide to a realm whose denizens have been as in thrall to a dizzying sense of momentum as consumers have been. Ismail Muhammad, The Atlantic, "Inside Tech’s Fever Dream," 8 Feb. 2020 Many audience members, of course, won't mind the manipulation at all, happy to be in thrall to the positive messages the film sends out. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I Still Believe': Film Review," 11 Mar. 2020 There are several cruise ships that are already in the thralls of dealing with coronavirus or the fear that surrounds its spread. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "As coronavirus spreads on cruise ships, what does it mean for cruisers and cruise lines? 'It's day-by-day'," 11 Feb. 2020 So why not spend it in the civilizing thrall of great art? Marley Marius, Vogue, "16 Art Exhibitions Worth Escaping to This Holiday Season," 25 Oct. 2019 Before long, everyone succumbing to the thrall of The Discourse—which is to say, potentially everyone, period—was an expert, or at least could feel safe in the assumption that no one would disqualify their takes based on a lack of expertise. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, "Moments Without Truth," 21 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for thrall

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for thrall

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thrall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thrall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thrall

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

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