\ ˈtran(t)s How to pronounce trance (audio) \

Definition of trance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a sleeplike state (as of deep hypnosis) usually characterized by partly suspended animation with diminished or absent sensory and motor activity
3 : a state of profound abstraction or absorption


tranced; trancing

Definition of trance (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from trance


trancelike \ ˈtran(t)s-​ˌlīk How to pronounce trance (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for trance

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of trance in a Sentence

Noun The spiritual healer fell into a trance. He was staring out the window in a trance.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The repetition, along with Cudi's hums and Haim's harmonies will put you in a trance. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "20 of the Best Sleeping Songs to Listen to When You’re Lying Awake at Night," 26 Dec. 2020 In Glass’s freaky trance of a novel, Laura is a pediatric nurse in a London hospital. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "My Favorite Fiction of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 One myth held that certain natives of the region could transform into wolves, roaming the land while their ordinary bodies lay in a kind of trance. Mark O’connell, The New Yorker, "Cartoon Saloon and the New Golden Age of Animation," 11 Dec. 2020 The cross-generational collaboration opens up every at-home dance floor but leaves everyone hovering over it in a trance. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best LGBTQ Songs of 2020: Staff Picks," 10 Dec. 2020 It’s through Rial’s trance-like memories that the movie’s endgame becomes clear. Anne Cohen,, "Why The Twist At The End Of Netflix’s His House Is So Brutal," 2 Nov. 2020 In medicine, ketamine is used as an anesthetic or an anti-depressant, but as a recreational drug it is used to induce dreamy or trance-like sensations, and sometimes hallucinations. Reuters, CNN, "Thailand's $1 billion ketamine bust a 'misunderstanding' as officials fail to find drugs," 24 Nov. 2020 Because a pinwheel-like design painted on the cave resembles the sacred perennial flower Datura wrightii, which was used by Native Californians to induce trance states, the scientists explored whether the quids might have contained that flower. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Stoned Age: Native American art confirms hallucinogenic drug use," 24 Nov. 2020 The little girl keeps on humming like she’s in a trance. Shannon Carlin,, "The Haunting of Bly Manor," 13 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here a barrage of triple threat acts have made a long list of the genre's most enduring tracks, from glitch hop, to pop crossovers to trance to vocal house to straight up EDM. Katie Bain, Billboard, "What's Your Favorite Dance Music Trio of All Time? Vote!," 25 Aug. 2020 This lineup adds follow previous announcements that trance legend Armin van Buuren will also headline the longstanding UK dance festival, launched in 1998. Katie Bain, Billboard, "The Chainsmokers, Armin van Buuren & More: Here's Everything We Know About the Creamfields 2020 Lineup," 17 Jan. 2020 Once inside, there's something happening everywhere, with sounds from techno, to house, to hardstyle to bass to EDM to trance coming at your ears from all directions. Brittany Gaston, Billboard, "15 Years In, Tomorrowland Is a Spectacle of Both Massive Size and Thoughtful Detail," 23 July 2019 As Florence trances the edge of this high pressure system, by later Friday or so, the atmospheric steering currents essentially break down. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Hurricane Florence forecast has gone from bad to worse," 12 Sep. 2018 But as people danced, shouted along, tranced out or (sometimes) shielded their ears, all the gear was still at the service of human beings. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "At Moogfest, Untamed Sounds and Futuristic Protests," 22 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trance.' 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 trance


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trance


Middle English traunce, from Anglo-French transe death, coma, rapture, from transir to depart, die, from Latin transire to cross, pass by — more at transient

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Time Traveler for trance

Time Traveler

The first known use of trance was in the 14th century

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Statistics for trance

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for trance


How to pronounce trance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trance

: a state that is like being asleep except that you can move and respond to questions and commands like a person who is awake
: a state in which you are not aware of what is happening around you because you are thinking of something else


\ ˈtrans How to pronounce trance (audio) \

Kids Definition of trance

1 : a condition like sleep (as deep hypnosis)
2 : a state of being so deeply absorbed in thought about something as to be unaware of anything else
3 : stupor What with the brandy and the venison … I fell into a kind of trance— Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped


\ ˈtran(t)s How to pronounce trance (audio) \

Medical Definition of trance

1 : a sleeplike altered state of consciousness (as of deep hypnosis) usually characterized by partly suspended animation with diminished or absent sensory and motor activity and subsequent lack of recall
2 : a state of profound abstraction or absorption

Other Words from trance

trancelike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce trance (audio) \ or trance-like adjective
a trancelike state

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