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See more synonyms for ecstasy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ec·sta·sies.
  1. rapturous delight.
  2. an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling.
  3. the frenzy of poetic inspiration.
  4. mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things.
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Origin of ecstasy

1350–1400; Middle English extasie < Middle French < Medieval Latin extasis < Greek ékstasis displacement, trance, equivalent to ek- ec- + stásis stasis


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Synonym study

2. Ecstasy, rapture, transport, exaltation share a sense of being taken or moved out of one's self or one's normal state, and entering a state of intensified or heightened feeling. Ecstasy suggests an intensification of emotion so powerful as to produce a trancelike dissociation from all but the single overpowering feeling: an ecstasy of rage, grief, love. Rapture shares the power of ecstasy but most often refers to an elevated sensation of bliss or delight, either carnal or spiritual: the rapture of first love. Transport, somewhat less extreme than either ecstasy or rapture, implies a strength of feeling that results in expression of some kind: They jumped up and down in a transport of delight. Exaltation refers to a heady sense of personal well-being so powerful that one is lifted above normal emotional levels and above normal people: wild exaltation at having finally broken the record.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ecstasy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She came down to breakfast singing the words in a sort of ecstasy.

  • Until that ecstasy of release should come, he would do his duty,—yes, his duty.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • But his wife, her face aglow, clasped her hands in an ecstasy of delight.

  • The boy fell into the ecstasy of content that always came with Sidney's presence.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The very odour of those plums in Johnny's nostrils was the equivalent of ecstasy.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

British Dictionary definitions for ecstasy


noun plural -sies
  1. (often plural) a state of exalted delight, joy, etc; rapture
  2. intense emotion of any kindan ecstasy of rage
  3. psychol overpowering emotion characterized by loss of self-control and sometimes a temporary loss of consciousness: often associated with orgasm, religious mysticism, and the use of certain drugs
  4. archaic a state of prophetic inspiration, esp of poetic rapture
  5. slang 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine; MDMA: a powerful drug that acts as a stimulant and can produce hallucinations
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French extasie, via Medieval Latin from Greek ekstasis displacement, trance, from existanai to displace, from ex- out + histanai to cause to stand
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

Word Origin and History for ecstasy


late 14c., "in a frenzy or stupor, fearful, excited," from Old French estaise "ecstasy, rapture," from Late Latin extasis, from Greek ekstasis "entrancement, astonishment; any displacement," in New Testament "a trance," from existanai "displace, put out of place," also "drive out of one's mind" (existanai phrenon), from ek "out" (see ex-) + histanai "to place, cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

Used by 17c. mystical writers for "a state of rapture that stupefied the body while the soul contemplated divine things," which probably helped the meaning shift to "exalted state of good feeling" (1610s). Slang use for the drug 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine dates from 1985.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ecstasy in Medicine


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