Word of the Day : September 2, 2017


verb in-THRAWL


: to hold spellbound : charm

Did You Know?

In Middle English, enthrallen meant "to hold in thrall." Thrall then, as now, meant "bondage" or "slavery"; it comes from an Old Norse word, thraell, which is probably related to an Old High German word for "servant." An early figurative use of enthrall appeared in the following advice from the 16th century, translated from a Latin text by Thomas Newton: "A man should not … enthrall his credit and honour to Harlots." But we rarely use even this sense of mental or moral enslavement anymore. Today the word is often used in its participle form, enthralled, which sometimes means "temporarily spellbound" ("we listened, enthralled, to the old woman's oral history"), but more often suggests a state of being generally captivated, delighted, or taken by some particular thing.


"But [Luke] Bryan didn't need much trickery to enthrall the crowd, ready to party to 'Rain is a Good Thing,' 'Crash My Party' and 'Do I' among his string of hits." — Amanda St. Amand, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 15 June 2013

"In this picture she gazes up, her thoughts far from the page, seemingly too enthralled by her photographer to concentrate on her task." — Megan Marshall, Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, 2017

Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of enthrall: SNTAFCIEA.



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