One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1literary mass noun The state of being in someone's power, or of having great power over someone.‘the town in thrall to a villain’
power, clutches, hands, control, grip, grasp, yokeView synonyms
- ‘We want food freed from the grip of science rather than further in thrall to it.’
- ‘Another is to suppose that those who disagree with us are in thrall to some evil power.’
- ‘From the beginning his audience - and there was always an audience - were in thrall to his idiosyncratic and impassioned deliveries.’
- ‘We live in a world dominated by the private sector and governments in thrall to it.’
- ‘Most courts are still in thrall to local governments.’
2archaic A slave, servant, or captive.
- ‘Later that night, the two flew into the village and laid waste to it, killing some people while making thralls of others.’
- ‘I believe that peasants should be bound to the land as unfree thralls who do the bidding of the freemen without question.’
- ‘Lowest in the social order were the thralls, or slaves.’
- ‘No, they would not allow themselves to become the helpless thralls of that traitor.’
Old English thrǣl ‘slave’, from Old Norse thræll.
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