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

Definition of trance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : stupor, daze
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)

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 Out of all that has emerged a mythology: that we’ll be ruled by their lies until we red-pill ourselves out of our trance. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 26 Dec. 2021 The hypnotist was supposed to put me into a trance. Bobbie Ann Mason, The New Yorker, 26 Dec. 2021 LaTurbo Avedon waits for me in the center of Orbital, a cavernous, near-empty trance nightclub. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 16 Dec. 2021 But a lengthy, meditative, trance-like stretch does lower the temperature, signaling the end of the horizon. Los Angeles Times, 4 Nov. 2021 One glance at the surfaces that Róisín Pierce spirits into being is enough to induce a sort of synesthetic trance state. Sarah Mower, Vogue, 24 Nov. 2021 And now, as fall turns to winter, and the mythical trance of his memorable season fades further into the past, there’s a question about the future left in its wake. Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2021 Their movements mirror each other, perfectly synchronized as if in a trance or deep in some ritualistic prayer. Jerald Pierce,, 2 Nov. 2021 Female jewel wasps sting their prey—large cockroaches—to induce a zombielike trance. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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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The first known use of trance was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for trance



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

More from Merriam-Webster on trance

Nglish: Translation of trance for Spanish Speakers

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


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