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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ravisher
Historical Examples
  • She beheld no longer her ravisher, whose eye beamed with ungovernable desires, and whose crest swelled with pride.

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

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • This show of resistance does not end, till the youth is received into the Andreium to which the ravisher belongs.

  • A moment more, and a strong gripe was laid on the shoulder of the ravisher.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The spy, the sweater, the rack-renter, the ravisher—each has the right to trial by his peers.

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

    The Smuggler Chief Gustave Aimard
  • But, as she was compelled to admit, there was no trace of the ravisher.

    Eastern Shame Girl Charles Georges Souli
  • In books war is great, but in reality war is a destroyer, a ravisher of life.

    Jeremiah Stefan Zweig
  • A wayfarer might have taken him for a ravisher escaping with a victim worn out with resistance.

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

    Once Aboard The Lugger Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
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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