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[rav-ish] /ˈræv ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to fill with strong emotion, especially joy.
to seize and carry off by force.
to carry off (a woman) by force.
to rape (a woman).
Origin of ravish
1250-1300; Middle English ravishen < Middle French raviss-, long stem of ravir to seize ≪ Latin rapere; see rape1
Related forms
ravishedly, adverb
ravisher, noun
unravished, adjective
Can be confused
ravage, ravish.
1. enrapture, transport, enthrall, delight, captivate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ravisher
Historical Examples
  • A moment more, and a strong gripe was laid on the shoulder of the ravisher.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Imogen insisted upon not being left wholly alone with her ravisher.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • But though she was melancholy, her melancholy was of a different hue from that of her ravisher.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • How was it that he was gone to the very banquet of the ravisher?

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • How did he then come to be the ravisher of St and the enemy of God?

    Avatras Annie Besant
  • It was, therefore, towards Garakouati that the ravisher was proceeding.

    The Smuggler Chief Gustave Aimard
  • In books war is great, but in reality war is a destroyer, a ravisher of life.

    Jeremiah Stefan Zweig
  • The ravisher's hands descended upon her person—she only purred.

    Once Aboard The Lugger Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
  • What, said Sir Launcelot, is he a thief and a knight and a ravisher of women?

  • But, as she was compelled to admit, there was no trace of the ravisher.

    Eastern Shame Girl Charles Georges Souli
British Dictionary definitions for ravisher


verb (transitive)
(often passive) to give great delight to; enrapture
to rape
(archaic) to carry off by force
Derived Forms
ravisher, noun
ravishment, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ravir, from Latin rapere to seize
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 ravisher



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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