One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1archaic Seize and carry off (someone) by force.
kidnap, carry off, seize, capture, run away with, run off with, make off with, spirit away, hold hostage, hold to ransom, hijackView synonyms
- ‘One night a wolf comes and kills many chickens and ravishes a lamb.’
- 1.1dated (of a man) force (a woman or girl) to have sexual intercourse against her will; rape.
rape, sexually abuse, sexually assault, violate, force oneself on, molestView synonyms
- ‘Minutes later, the men were ravishing Cliona - separately at first, then together.’
- ‘She would be too ashamed to confide in the abbess about how she was ravished by a stranger.’
- ‘Is that what you said to the daughter of Merewala when you killed her father and ravished her?’
- ‘He was supposed to have kept her awake, not ravish her, not rut her like some animal.’
- ‘They are coming to kill every single man and woman with guns and knives, and to ravish our daughters and wives.’
2literary Fill (someone) with intense delight; enrapture.‘ravished by a sunny afternoon, she had agreed without even thinking’
enrapture, send into raptures, enchant, fill with delight, delight, charm, entrance, enthral, captivate, bewitch, spellbind, fascinate, transport, overjoyView synonyms
- ‘Nineteenth-century travellers were ravished by the romantic spectacle of them, as they were delighted by the orientalism of the city itself, with its mysterious and lascivious suggestions of the east.’
Middle English: from Old French raviss-, lengthened stem of ravir, from an alteration of Latin rapere ‘seize’.
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