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[rapt] /ræpt/
deeply engrossed or absorbed:
a rapt listener.
transported with emotion; enraptured:
rapt with joy.
showing or proceeding from rapture:
a rapt smile.
carried off spiritually to another place, sphere of existence, etc.
Origin of rapt
1350-1400; Middle English (past participle of rapen to carry off, abduct, rape) < Latin raptus seized, carried off (past participle of rapere), equivalent to rap- (see rape1) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
raptly, adverb
raptness, noun
Can be confused
rapped, rapt, wrapped, wrapt.
2. ecstatic, spellbound, bewitched. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for raptly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As he gazed at it raptly a scream from the girl aroused him.

    In the Morning of Time Charles G. D. Roberts
  • The old lady in front lifted a frank handkerchief; the giggling girls were raptly watching.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • She had listened to him raptly, the pale light white upon her lifted face.

    Ann Arbor Tales Karl Edwin Harriman
  • He stayed quite still, listening as raptly as some wandering night-beast to the indiscriminate stir and echoings of the darkness.

    The Return Walter de la Mare
  • raptly gazing at the child's innocent face, Paul softly croons some cradle melody.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • Mr. Blake's eyes were raptly fixed on his accuser—his traducer, as we secretly defined him.

    St. Cuthbert's Robert E. Knowles
  • But he was alone; the swords lay by his side; his gaze was raptly fixed upon them.

    The conquest of Rome Matilde Serao
  • He cleared his throat and his eyes wandered, raptly, as of old, into the dim vastness of the rafters.


    Howard Vincent O'Brien
  • As the Tiger Swami's story approached a climax, my excitement mounted with it; Chandi also was raptly mute.

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
British Dictionary definitions for raptly


totally absorbed; engrossed; spellbound, esp through or as if through emotion: rapt with wonder
characterized by or proceeding from rapture: a rapt smile
Derived Forms
raptly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin raptus carried away, from rapere to seize; see rape1


(Austral & NZ, informal) Also wrapped. very pleased: delighted
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for raptly



late 14c., "carried away in an ecstatic trance," from Latin raptus, past participle of rapere "seize, carry off" (see rape (v.)). A figurative sense, the notion is of "carried up into Heaven (bodily or in a dream)," as in a saint's vision. Latin literal sense of "carried away" was in English from 1550s. In 15c.-17c. the word also sometimes could mean "raped." Sense of "engrossed" first recorded c.1500. As a past participle adjective, in English it spawned the back-formed verb rap "to affect with rapture," which was common c.1600-1750.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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