\ ˈthrȯl How to pronounce thrall (audio) \

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 : 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 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 Austin is run by Republicans who aren’t inclined to govern vigorously, and are in thrall to corporations and rich campaign contributors. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "Democrats look ahead to 2022 campaign with plans to hammer Texas GOP as inept in running government," 19 Feb. 2021 Others said the contentious House Republican meeting showed how much the party remains in thrall to Trump, despite his election defeat and his impeachment for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by extremist supporters. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump's backers failed to take down Liz Cheney, but the Republican 'civil war' isn't near over," 4 Feb. 2021 Far too many remain in thrall — or in fear — of Trump. Star Tribune, "Act now to end Trump's presidency," 11 Jan. 2021 Long a specialized taste, Fincher in recent years started to feel like an endangered species: a commercial director who makes studio movies for adult audiences, in an industry in thrall to cartoons and comic books. New York Times, "David Fincher, the Unhappiest Auteur," 1 Jan. 2021 Even so, jilted lovers, onetime jailers and men who took the fall for him and served time in prison for his crimes remained in thrall to his charismatic personality. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "John le Carré, who lifted the spy novel to literature, dies at 89," 13 Dec. 2020 Events occur in a whirl of chaos beyond our control—and in the hypnosis of watching, the simultaneous thrall and imprisonment of being an audience, our personal agency ebbs further and further away. Lydia Millet, The New Republic, "The Risk of Watching the World Burn on TV," 28 Aug. 2020 Neumann, in thrall to the Silicon Valley boom, was soon preoccupied with the idea of turning WeWork into a tech giant, and experimented with a LinkedIn-style app for WeWork members that never quite took off. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "How WeWork Got Away With Spectacular Failure," 24 Nov. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic revealed the WHO as an agency ruinously in thrall to China. Claudia Rosett, WSJ, "Biden Should Impose Conditions on Rejoining WHO," 18 Nov. 2020

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 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thrall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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

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