One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Medicine. A seizure; a sudden or acute attack, especially of mental illness. Also with distinguishing scientific Latin word, as "raptus melancholicus", "raptus nervorum", etc. Now rare.
2A state of rapture or excitement.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Short (c1690–1772), physician. From classical Latin raptus action of tearing or carrying away, robbery, abduction, in post-classical Latin also cramp, rape, rapture, ecstasy (709, frequently from 1200 in British sources) from rapere to seize + -tus, suffix forming verbal nouns.
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