extremely beautiful or attractive; enchanting; entrancing.

Origin of ravishing

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at ravish, -ing1
Related formsrav·ish·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedravenous ravaging ravishing (see synonym study at ravenous)



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 formsrav·ished·ly, adverbrav·ish·er, nounun·rav·ished, adjective
Can be confusedravage ravish

Synonyms for ravish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ravishing

Contemporary Examples of ravishing

Historical Examples of ravishing

  • The girl was rather short, but of a slender elegance of form that was ravishing.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The rewards they bestow are sweet, and ravishing, and indescribable.


    William Godwin

  • "He is only twenty-one and divinely beautiful," said Cassy, with a ravishing gesture.

    Monday or Tuesday

    Virginia Woolf

  • You really must be in love with that young woman; she is ravishing.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • Nothing for it but the wood and cave and the ravishing of the Ben Bhuidhe wolves.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

British Dictionary definitions for ravishing



delightful; lovely; entrancing
Derived Formsravishingly, adverb


verb (tr)

(often passive) to give great delight to; enrapture
to rape
archaic to carry off by force
Derived Formsravisher, nounravishment, noun

Word Origin for ravish

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

Word Origin and History for ravishing

"act of plundering," c.1300, verbal noun from ravish (v.).


mid-14c., "ravenous;" early 15c., "enchanting;" present participle adjective from ravish (v.). The figurative notion is of "carrying off from earth to heaven." Related: Ravishingly.



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