1. extremely beautiful or attractive; enchanting; entrancing.

verb (used with object)

  1. to fill with strong emotion, especially joy.
  2. to seize and carry off by force.
  3. to carry off (a woman) by force.
  4. to rape (a woman).


  1. delightful; lovely; entrancing

verb (tr)

  1. (often passive) to give great delight to; enrapture
  2. to rape
  3. archaic to carry off by force

“act of plundering,” c.1300, verbal noun from ravish (v.).


mid-14c., “ravenous;” early 15c., “enchanting;” present participle adjective from ravish (v.). The figurative notion is of “carrying off from earth to heaven.” Related: Ravishingly.


c.1300, “to seize (someone) by violence, carry (a person, especially a woman) away,” from Old French raviss-, present participle stem of ravir “to seize, take away hastily,” from Vulgar Latin *rapire, from Latin rapere “to seize and carry off, carry away suddenly, hurry away” (see rapid). Meaning “to commit rape upon” is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Ravished; ravishing.

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