\ 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 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 Up until that moment, Louis had been a figure in the thrall of Madame Sarah, like every other character in this play with the exception of the philandering actress’ own son, Maurice (Luigi Sottile). Chris Jones,, "At the Goodman Theatre, ‘Bernhardt/Hamlet’ is a takedown of the guys in Bardland — with some rough patches," 24 Sep. 2019 The chapters that follow find Samantha in the thrall of the Bunnies, helping them conduct some truly alarming experiments involving (actual) bunnies, and eating lunch at a cutesy restaurant that only serves miniature foods. Michael Schaub,, "In Mona Awad’s ‘Bunny,’ squad goals include Pinkberry, creative writing and murder," 11 June 2019 This now covers the range of likely options — from the influence of a foreign power to the thrall of a foreign ideology. Michael Gerson, Anchorage Daily News, "Is Trump’s coziness with Putin causing the White House to panic?," 25 Mar. 2018 Companies in India remain in thrall to the government. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Trump Isn’t the American Modi," 7 Feb. 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

19 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thrall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 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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