Definition of ravish in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈravɪʃ/


[with object]
1 archaic Seize and carry off (someone) by force: there is no assurance that her infant child will not be ravished from her breast
More example sentences
  • One night a wolf comes and kills many chickens and ravishes a lamb.
1.1 dated (Of a man) rape (a woman): an angry father who suspects that his daughter has been ravished
More example sentences
  • Is that what you said to the daughter of Merewala when you killed her father and ravished her?
  • They are coming to kill every single man and woman with guns and knives, and to ravish our daughters and wives.
  • She would be too ashamed to confide in the abbess about how she was ravished by a stranger.
rape, sexually assault/abuse, violate, force oneself on, molest;
euphemistic take advantage of, have one's (wicked) way with
archaic dishonour, defile
2 literary Fill (someone) with intense delight; enrapture: ravished by a sunny afternoon, she had agreed without even thinking
More example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ˈravɪʃə/
Example sentences
  • Like many others, I was tired of images of Indigenous men as violent, monosyllabic studs, abusers of Indigenous women and ravishers of white women or as noble savage type shamans, warriors and chiefs.
  • All the narrative divulges to the reader is that Alec is not as ‘ruthless’ as those ancient ravishers, Tess's ancestors, taking their seigneurial rights.
  • Her language mirrors, or perhaps parodies, the conventional seduction tale - the isolated young maiden, without a loving family to guide her, falls prey to ‘the voice ‘of her ravisher who then leaves her to her fate.’


Pronunciation: /ˈravɪʃm(ə)nt/
Example sentences
  • The Lexicon Of Love, was a sensational debut, with its brass constructions and guitar ravishments.
  • What is it about Chris Matthews’ show that evokes images of bodice-ripping, drooling ravishment?
  • It's not surprising that they would exhume him now to serve his usual role as facilitator of GOP criminal ravishment.


Middle English: from Old French raviss-, lengthened stem of ravir, from an alteration of Latin rapere 'seize'.

  • rape from Late Middle English:

    This originally referred to the violent seizure of property, and later to the carrying off of a woman by force. It comes via Anglo-Norman French from Latin rapere ‘seize’, also the source of the word rapacious and rapid [both M17th], and of rapt (Late Middle English) and rapture (late 16th century), when you are carried away by your feelings. In Old French repere was changed to ravir, source of ravish (Middle English). The plant name, rape, originally referred to the turnip. It is from Latin rapum, rapa ‘turnip’.

Words that rhyme with ravish


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rav¦ish

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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