\ 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 trancelike (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 About 400,000 revelers descened on Boom, Belgium, for the two-weekend event, representing about 200 countries and dancing to every shade of electronic entertainment from house to techno, trance and hardstyle, electro, dubstep and more. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Tomorrowland Celebrates 15 Successful Years With 23-Minute 2019 Aftermovie: Watch," 13 Aug. 2019 The spellbinding beauty sported long purple locs in a recent post, and her whimsical tresses have us in a trance. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "We Can't Stop Staring At Lizzo's New Hair," 17 Sep. 2019 The Masters’ brand of ancient trance isn’t simply entertaining. National Geographic, "Music in Morocco: The ultimate sonic journey," 23 July 2019 Electronic dance music, otherwise known as EDM, serves as an umbrella term for several genres including house, techno, trance, dancehall and dubstep. Hallie Miller,, "The EDM industry tends to be male-centric. Here’s how Baltimore’s female DJs are trying to combat that.," 7 Aug. 2019 The first being the duo’s trippy electronica, equal parts trance-inducing mind game and dance-floor-filling groove, that has made them an Ultra Music Festival staple. Ben Crandell,, "Weekend preview: Women and beers and TVs we love, plus a Bon Jovi dance party?," 7 Aug. 2019 And there is always a fascinating rhythm: Even if a song is framed by a straightforward meter, listeners can dig into the nuances within in, losing themselves in a trance. Elizabeth Nonemaker,, "Vieux Farka Touré brings the sounds of Mali to Baltimore," 19 July 2019 And third, there's the trance-inducing motion itself, made all the more bewitching by the checkerboard pattern on the table. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "You Need to See How This "Self-Healing" Table Is Made," 8 July 2019 Alok, 27, is the son of two Brazilian psy-trance DJs who founded the Universo Paralello festival in northern Brazil. Alexei Barrionuevo, Billboard, "Brazilian Sensation Alok Drops 'The Wall,' His Official Remake of the Pink Floyd Classic: Exclusive," 27 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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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Statistics for trance

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for trance

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

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

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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 spread as a report or rumor

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