\ 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 The lineup was diverse in terms of genres--featuring house, techno, trance, and bass. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "Freaky Deaky Texas rolls out the Halloween dance sound for Houston-area crowd," 28 Oct. 2019 Those immersed in the old rituals say they are put into a trance that allows them to channel spirits and escape injury from otherwise dangerous feats. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Venezuelans seek strength, healing from mythical goddess," 14 Oct. 2019 Ketamine, an anesthetic, brings on a trance-like state and is used as a pain reliever and a sedative. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Rally to call for independent investigation into 23-year-old Aurora man’s death after police encounter," 30 Sep. 2019 There’s trance and grit and history all woven together in this music. John Adamian,, "Best bets: Our picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 29 Sep. 2019 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 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

14 Nov 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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