\ 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 Hokusai, on the other hand, doesn’t seem in thrall to drama or narrative. Washington Post, "Even a year’s worth of Hokusai may not be enough to display his genius," 22 Jan. 2020 The Republican majority, with its members either ambivalent about Trump’s wrongdoing or afraid of a Republican base entirely in thrall to him, will acquit him. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Democrats’ Airtight, Impotent Case for Impeaching Trump," 22 Jan. 2020 The Trump administration has argued that the company is in thrall to the Chinese government and a threat to national security. Dan Bilefsky,, "The stakes are high as Huawei executive goes to court to fight extradition to the US from Canada," 19 Jan. 2020 Football is the most collectivist of sports, seemingly at odds with American individualism, but the United States has always been a nation of joiners and a country in thrall to the idea of team. James Surowiecki, New York Times, "Beautiful. Violent. American. The N.F.L. at 100.," 19 Dec. 2019 Succession airs into an America that is currently in the thrall of another would-be sovereign—another leader full of bile and spleen. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Why Succession Works So Well as Horror," 13 Oct. 2019 The faith Stewart Brand and his associates placed in the communitarian ideal led directly to the informality and organisational flatness that characterises how Silicon Valley—and the global corporations in its thrall—does business today. The Economist, "Hippie Inc: how the counterculture went corporate," 29 Nov. 2019 Like the ancient mariner, Joe captured an audience and held it in his thrall. Bob Goldsborough,, "Joe Jekot, longtime Loyola Academy teacher, professional storyteller, dies at 57," 29 Sep. 2019 When the artistmoved to Düsseldorf, in West Germany, in 1961 — the heyday of pop art, Andy Warhol and the fantasy of frictionless consumerism — visual culture was in thrall to yet another ideology: capitalism. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Blurred vision," 20 Nov. 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

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thrall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 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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