Definition of rapt in US English:



  • 1Completely fascinated by what one is seeing or hearing.

    ‘Andrew looked at her, rapt’
    • ‘‘Our task is not to create a movement from scratch,’ she proclaims to a rapt audience.’
    • ‘Jacobs tells the rapt crowd that the ‘miserable’ expansion plan will be as important a fight for Toronto as the expressway battle once was.’
    • ‘A group of girls underneath a TV set gazed up, rapt.’
    • ‘Director Ron Howard knows how to keep his audience rapt.’
    • ‘The Sheldonian, recently refurbished, was packed with a refreshingly young audience, which remained rapt throughout.’
    • ‘Two interjections from the rapt audience render the visiting 28-year-old former pupil particularly speechless.’
    • ‘Bob Schulz announces this in late January to a rapt crowd of 200 gathered in an auditorium in Crystal City, Virginia.’
    • ‘In later years public demand saw him travelling the length and breadth of the country to deliver his budget speeches to rapt audiences.’
    • ‘The journalist did not exit from productions at intermission but stayed to observe a rapt audience, most of whom had never before seen a drama or comedy of any kind.’
    • ‘Jimmy Hamilton, a boyish man who celebrated his 80th birthday the previous day, is recounting to me a tale of bravery from the middle years of the last century and I'm rapt.’
    • ‘But, Newman points out, the personalities and relationships that keep audiences rapt are not neglected.’
    • ‘Her eyes are warm and alive, as she tells her stories to a rapt audience.’
    • ‘The shortness of her set was perhaps fortunate, as Tunstall left a rapt audience wanting more.’
    • ‘The singer's younger daughter, Madhusree, who had been a rapt listener during her father's recitals till this year, chose to sit on the stage and sing with her older friends.’
    • ‘Many people were rapt and stayed for the whole hour before it looped around.’
    • ‘Adults are rapt and absorbed pupils, far more dedicated students than are most kids.’
    • ‘The audience is rapt, breaking several times into appreciative applause.’
    • ‘When I lectured at a skeptics meeting in Dublin in mid-October, this photo of my rapt audience was snapped.’
    • ‘To a silent, rapt hall, the Prime Minister told how when he visited New York and met British relatives of the victims, a middle-aged mother looked him in the eyes and said her only son had died.’
    • ‘I found a stack of Architectural Forum magazines from 1958-1961, and spent half an hour on the floor, rapt.’
    fascinated, enthralled, spellbound, captivated, riveted, gripped, mesmerized, enchanted, entranced, charmed, bewitched, transported, enraptured
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    1. 1.1 Indicating or characterized by a state of fascination.
      ‘they listened with rapt attention’
      • ‘Swans have been a source of rapt fascination for me since I was a child, and it was a life's dream come true to own one - let alone seven.’
      • ‘It was also reported that you spent the earlier part of the afternoon singing for your preschool mates, who stood in rapt attention around you.’
      • ‘Well, we all had headsets on, and obviously everyone was extremely quiet and solemn and trying to, with rapt attention, get everything they could out of the tape.’
      • ‘With rapt fascination I watched the ritualized escape attempt and re-entrapment of the hero every week.’
      • ‘But though this suggests how little Gabriel understands his wife's rapt attention, we do not need to know that in this sequence.’
      • ‘The children listened with rapt attention to the old storyteller as he captivated their minds with a tale from his past - one that Adam himself knew a good deal about.’
      • ‘A successful dialogue can be conducted only if we listen to each other with rapt attention so that we can understand each other.’
      • ‘The way she moved demanded my rapt attention while her eyes kept me completely mesmerized.’
      • ‘He listened with rapt, amused attention to what I told him about the role of LSD in his Nobel Prize-winning discovery.’
      • ‘Guests watched in rapt attention as the models showcased garments from Anand's designer collection.’
      • ‘A group of Whitehall officials are sitting listening with rapt attention to an account of the importance of scone-making for a group of three-year-olds.’
      • ‘Clinching the final question in the quiz that once again held a packed auditorium to rapt attention, the schoolboys from Delhi cycled away with their hoard of prizes.’
      • ‘Others were, briefly, inattentive, but generally we were well behaved and gave Old Dutch our rapt attention.’
      • ‘The behaviour of animals in captivity was explained, as the students listened in rapt attention.’
      • ‘About 800 children drawn from various schools listened in rapt attention and went home with material on traffic rules and regulations.’
      • ‘She would listen with rapt attention while I read out lists of batting averages from Wisden - sometimes the sheer intensity of her concentration made her almost seem asleep.’
      • ‘I took my cricketing cues from a television documentary on Ian Botham on Sunday night which held a whole pub in rapt attention.’
      • ‘A sampling of the Egyptian diet draws the rapt attention of a whole family.’
      • ‘The church was full, and everyone listened in rapt attention.’
      • ‘The world depicted is a fascinating one, and we gaze upon it with rapt attention, even as the disquieting mood of the film keeps us ill at ease.’
      engrossed, absorbed, lost, preoccupied, in a brown study, intent
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    2. 1.2 Filled with an intense and pleasurable emotion; enraptured.
      ‘she shut her eyes and seemed rapt with desire’
      • ‘She stood, rapt, saturated in melodic emotion, more affected by it than she could have believed.’
      • ‘The tone of the dance was by turns rapt, jubilant, and possessed.’
      • ‘The God whom Paul found was not rapt with pleasure when looking on people observing the Law, as the Pharisees would have expected.’
      fascinated, enthralled, spellbound, captivated, riveted, gripped, mesmerized, enchanted, entranced, charmed, bewitched, transported, enraptured
      View synonyms
  • 2archaic Having been carried away bodily or transported to heaven.

    ‘he was rapt on high’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘transported by religious feeling’): from Latin raptus ‘seized’, past participle of rapere.