One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Heraldry. as postpositive. In the half-raised posture of a wolf beginning to spring upon its prey.
2Ravishing, delightful. Now rare.
Middle English (in an earlier sense). Originally from Anglo-Norman and Old French ravisant, ravisaunt, ravissant, ravissaunt (French ravissant) rapacious, voracious, use as adjective of present participle of ravir. In later use reborrowed from French ravissant (in heraldic use, of an animal) standing on its hind legs with its front legs raised, in the half-raised posture of a wolf beginning to spring on its prey, ravishing, delightful, specifically uses of ravissant.
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