\ 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)

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Other Words from trance


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

Synonyms for trance

Synonyms: Noun

daydreaming, reverie (also revery), study, woolgathering

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Examples of trance in a Sentence


The spiritual healer fell into a trance. He was staring out the window in a trance.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Besides the sounds, he was surrounded by enormous video screens that kept everyone in a zombie-like trance. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2019: Steve Aoki, Hanson and the best and the worst on the side stages on opening day," 27 June 2019 Whether the actress is on the red carpet or the big screen, her mane moments leave us mesmerized and her latest ‘do has the internet in a trance. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "You Have To See Zendaya's Fiery New Look," 18 June 2019 As beautiful as the Rhine Gorge is, as beautiful as the Wachau Valley is, to be on the Moselle is like being in a trance for three or four days. National Geographic, "Memorable Moments on Europe’s Rivers with Cruise Director Richard Grey," 12 June 2019 One who stares fixedly at his navel to induce a mystical trance —often used of the hesychasts. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Karmadharaya, thymele, and tjaele: Words from the Spelling Bee’s 8-way-tie finish," 31 May 2019 Fans who head to Randalls Island this year will get dubstep from Flux Pavilion, trance from Above & Beyond, house from Kaskade, and a little bit of everything from Diplo. Blake Ryan, Billboard, "A Guide to Summer Music Festival Season 2019," 24 June 2019 Out of these travels came a new language, multiethnic, pan-spiritual, and often trance-like. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, "The Apostle of Now-ness," 6 June 2019 Jean drifts through the film in a convulsive trance of intensity that’s a whisper away from traumatized. Nick Romano,, "'Dark Phoenix' reviews: At least it's better than X-Men: Apocalypse…?," 5 June 2019 What: Sixteen meditative, swayable songs with minimalist production and trance-y beats ripe for the remixing. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Sound On: The Best Music of April 2019," 1 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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Dictionary Entries near trance







tranche de vie

Statistics for trance

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for trance

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

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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 trancelike (audio) \ or trance-like adjective
a trancelike state

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More from Merriam-Webster on trance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trance

Spanish Central: Translation of trance

Nglish: Translation of trance for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on trance

What made you want to look up trance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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