Share this entry

Share this page

thrall

Line breaks: thrall
Pronunciation: /θrɔːl
 
/

Definition of thrall in English:

noun

1 [mass noun] literary The state of being in someone’s power, or of having great power over someone: she was in thrall to her abusive husband
More example sentences
  • Another is to suppose that those who disagree with us are in thrall to some evil power.
  • We live in a world dominated by the private sector and governments in thrall to it.
  • We want food freed from the grip of science rather than further in thrall to it.
Synonyms
power, clutches, hands, control, grip, grasp, yoke;
enslavement, bondage, slavery, subjection, subjugation, servitude, tyranny, oppression, domination, hegemony, supremacy
2 archaic A slave, servant, or captive.
Example sentences
  • Lowest in the social order were the thralls, or slaves.
  • Later that night, the two flew into the village and laid waste to it, killing some people while making thralls of others.
  • No, they would not allow themselves to become the helpless thralls of that traitor.

Origin

Old English thrǣl 'slave', from Old Norse thræll.

Derivatives

thraldom

1
(also thralldom) noun
Example sentences
  • The river maps the feudarchy of northern India, to which their lives are bound; but from the river's culture, also, comes the expressive lyricism that redeems them, however temporarily, from their thralldom.
  • Council house sales freed hundreds of thousands from virtual thraldom, and her union reforms released untold numbers more from the iniquities of the closed shop and secondary picketing.
  • Having sloughed off the social illiteracy that was Marxism, after 72 years, western Europe is again in thraldom to the delusions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Definition of thrall in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing