Definition of rapture in English:



  • 1mass noun A feeling of intense pleasure or joy.

    ‘Leonora listened with rapture’
    • ‘In this painting, joy, rapture, release, and escape are all terms that become important, even if their value is always of the verge of becoming equivocal.’
    • ‘She took tea with her remaining admirers, but in the age of beat poetry and the apolitical pursuit of rapture, seemed something of a relic.’
    • ‘She had that almost vacant-eyed look of the other girls, lost in rapture over the chords of Jerry Garcia and fueled by the music, the dancing and some psychotropic drug.’
    • ‘In the late '70s, anticipation would have had us in near rapture waiting for another Annie Hall or Manhattan, but alas we have entered a new century, and cynicism is the order of the day.’
    • ‘While he hasn't put a title to his collection, one cannot miss the sense of rapture and enchantment that the paintings seem to convey.’
    • ‘Her body would spasm with joyous rapture at the mere thought of it.’
    • ‘Tuesday's first night performance at the Festival Theatre was greeted with rapture by a large audience who were enthralled by the Wales Theatre Company's interpretation.’
    • ‘The frontal lobe is the seat of concentration and attention; the limbic system is where powerful feelings, including rapture, are processed.’
    • ‘Shelley went into rapture when he saw a wandering cloud and he celebrated the moment with a song.’
    • ‘Each performer was wrapped up in the world of the music, and their rapture quickly spread to the audience.’
    • ‘With rapture, I also noticed there were special ‘milk’ and ‘water’ buttons to aid my learning curve.’
    • ‘Music can impart in us a feeling of melancholy and sorrow, rapture and euphoria.’
    • ‘In her youth Queen Victoria listened with rapture to the impressive and glorious music of the great oratorios rendered in the Minster.’
    • ‘Every one of them was involved in the build up to the goal which sent the reinvigorated fans into rapture.’
    • ‘I was fascinated by roller coasters even then so after a couple of rides on it with my Dad my rapture just multiplied.’
    • ‘I whooped and hollered as I pumped on the accelerator, and the girls squealed with joyful rapture.’
    • ‘The alcohol and the gyrating male bodies onstage combine to bring the women to a state of frenzied rapture.’
    • ‘Standing beneath that wall, I let my fantasy enclose me in rapture.’
    • ‘The Westport contingent in the stadium was in rapture as Eamon was declared the winner, another title for St. Annes but they werent finished there.’
    • ‘It would now be impossible to imagine a repeat of July 1914 when crowds in Vienna erupted into rapture as war was declared.’
    ecstasy, bliss, euphoria, elation, exaltation, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, cloud nine, seventh heaven, transport, rhapsody, enchantment, delight, exhilaration, happiness, pleasure, ravishment
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    1. 1.1raptures Expressions of intense pleasure or enthusiasm about something.
      ‘the tabloids went into raptures about her’
      • ‘Edinburgh's food lovers are in raptures over Crolla's new project - and rightly so’
      • ‘In this, he receives the support of those sections of the Russian intelligentsia who went into raptures about Gorbachev at the end of the 1980s.’
      • ‘It would be easy to go into raptures about the role and the film, set in working-class London of 1950.’
      • ‘Her subjects, just yards away, were in raptures.’
      • ‘Conlon's rocket sent his side's supporters into raptures but O'Donohoe held his nerve to cut short the Sligo side's premature celebrations.’
      • ‘When we return home and develop the photographs, our friends and relatives go into raptures over the scenery and the landscape.’
      • ‘A little while later, Katrina arrived and the crowd went into raptures.’
      • ‘More to the point, while the food was never likely to send either of us into raptures, it was certainly well above average, and very sensibly priced.’
      • ‘As ever, his arrogance and ignorance grated on everyone who cannot abide him, and left those who adore him (mainly confined to some quarters of the United States) in raptures.’
      • ‘A lady went into raptures about the cheeseboard, and the complexity of the flavour of the mature cheddar.’
      • ‘Normally, a 13 point victory over the old enemy would have Mayo people in raptures, but when the final whistle went in Garrymore, their was a mild air of disappointment among the home fans.’
      • ‘But it's not just the music that had the audience in raptures - it's the sheer exuberance of their stage performance.’
      • ‘Gary's smashing of the 21-year-old record has sent the gaming world into raptures, because many thought 389,770 was a high score that would never be beaten.’
      • ‘Retired All-Black Murray Mexted, commentating on TV during the last match, was in raptures.’
      • ‘The home crowd were in raptures, cries of ‘Ole Ole’ echoing around the stadium as their players lined up to pepper the Thistle goal.’
      • ‘This explanation from the magician had the audience in raptures.’
      • ‘The highlight of the day, however, was a mimicry show by cine actor, Jayaram, which left the students in raptures.’
      • ‘The thrills sent the men, women and children into raptures.’
      • ‘It was a performance that had local commentators in raptures, and speculating that next October, when she makes her debut at the Hawaii Ironman, she could make quite an impact.’
      • ‘But while archaeologists are still in raptures over the images, mostly depicting animals, trust chiefs running the site believe it could spell great things for the area.’
      enthuse, rhapsodize, rave, gush, wax lyrical, express intense enthusiasm, express intense pleasure
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  • 2the RaptureNorth American (according to some millenarian teaching) the transporting of believers to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ.

    ‘thousands of Christians gathered outside Rochester and other cities, awaiting the Rapture’
    • ‘The October 11 date he set for the Rapture came and went uneventfully.’
    • ‘The book is called Left Behind and is about the Rapture, from the book of Revelation in the Bible.’
    • ‘These focus on salvation, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus.’
    • ‘Protestant fundamentalists believe that shortly before the end, all the born-again Christians with true faith will be snatched up to heaven; they call this Rapture.’
    • ‘You know, reverend, we're so excited about the Rapture.’


[with object]North American
  • (according to some millenarian teaching) transport (a believer) from earth to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ.

    ‘people will be raptured out of automobiles as they are driving along’
    • ‘Christ will return secretly to rapture his saints before the great tribulation.’
    • ‘On top of that, some believe that they will be raptured to safety in heaven, while others believe that they will be raptured to a place of safety on earth.’
    • ‘If you think that demonic powers are present at the moment, just wait until the saints have been raptured away and Satan and his armies have taken full control of the earth.’
    • ‘Reader Keith Stump of Indianapolis, Indiana, refers us to a service that offers to notify family and friends when a Christian gets raptured away into Heaven.’
    • ‘Will anyone but Christians have a shot at being raptured?’


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘seizing and carrying off’): from obsolete French, or from medieval Latin raptura ‘seizing’, partly influenced by rapt.