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[trans, trahns] /træns, trɑns/
a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended.
a dazed or bewildered condition.
a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing.
an unconscious, cataleptic, or hypnotic condition.
Spiritualism. a temporary state in which a medium, with suspension of personal consciousness, is controlled by an intelligence from without and used as a means of communication, as from the dead.
verb (used with object), tranced, trancing.
to put in a trance; stupefy.
to entrance; enrapture.
Origin of trance1
1300-50; Middle English traunce state of extreme dread, swoon, dazed state < Middle French transe literally, passage (from life to death), derivative of transir to go across, pass over < Latin trānsīre, equivalent to trāns- trans- + īre to go
Related forms
[transt-lee, tran-sid-lee] /ˈtrænst li, ˈtræn sɪd li/ (Show IPA),
trancelike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for trancelike
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When the thoughts stopped coming in, the butcher was the first to come out of the trancelike state.

    The Stutterer R.R. Merliss
  • Twilight had not yielded to day when Odysseus awoke from his trancelike sleep, and gazed in bewilderment around him.

  • There is nothing in life more beautiful than that trancelike quiet dawn which precedes the rising of love in the soul.

    The Minister's Wooing Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • He looked up, and it appeared to Julie as though he were shaking off with difficulty some abnormal and trancelike state.

    Lady Rose's Daughter Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Bobby Ogden, waking suddenly from his trancelike condition, leaped to his feet and ran after him.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
British Dictionary definitions for trancelike


a hypnotic state resembling sleep
any mental state in which a person is unaware or apparently unaware of the environment, characterized by loss of voluntary movement, rigidity, and lack of sensitivity to external stimuli
a dazed or stunned state
a state of ecstasy or mystic absorption so intense as to cause a temporary loss of consciousness at the earthly level
(spiritualism) a state in which a medium, having temporarily lost consciousness, can supposedly be controlled by an intelligence from without as a means of communication with the dead
a type of electronic dance music with repetitive rhythms, aiming at a hypnotic effect
(transitive) to put into or as into a trance
Derived Forms
trancelike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French transe, from transir to faint, pass away, from Latin trānsīre to go over, from trans- + īre to go
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 trancelike



late 14c., "state of extreme dread or suspense," also "a dazed, half-conscious or insensible condition," from Old French transe "fear of coming evil," originally "passage from life to death" (12c.), from transir "be numb with fear," originally "die, pass on," from Latin transire "cross over" (see transient). French trance in its modern sense has been reborrowed from English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trancelike in Medicine

trance (trāns)
An altered state of consciousness as in hypnosis, catalepsy, or ecstasy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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