[ thrawl ]
/ θrɔl /


a person who is in bondage; slave.
a person who is morally or mentally enslaved by some power, influence, or the like: He was the thrall of morbid fantasies.
slavery; thralldom.

verb (used with object)

Archaic. to put or hold in thralldom; enslave.


Archaic. subjected to bondage; enslaved.

Origin of thrall

before 950; Middle English; Old English thrǣl < Old Norse thrǣll slave
Related formsun·thralled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thralled

  • He was the voice of God talking into men's ears; and the music of that low, quiet voice thrilled and thralled their hearts.

  • Now was I under the spell of that ancient life which had held him thralled to his very end.

    Miss Primrose|Roy Rolfe Gilson
  • The Purple Emperor aroma—the Belinda magic—held him thralled.

    Shadows of Flames|Amelie Rives
  • This the sure instinct of his art taught him he might not do, since those tales which held them thralled were not for such as she.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales|C. Bryson Taylor

British Dictionary definitions for thralled


/ (θrɔːl) /


Also called: thraldom, (US) thralldom (ˈθrɔːldəm) the state or condition of being in the power of another person
a person who is in such a state
a person totally subject to some need, desire, appetite, etc


(tr) to enslave or dominate

Word Origin for thrall

Old English thrǣl slave, from Old Norse thrǣll
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 thralled



Old English þræl "bondman, serf, slave," from Old Norse þræll "slave, servant," probably from Proto-Germanic *thrakhilaz, literally "runner," from root *threh- "to run" (cf. Old High German dregil "servant," properly "runner;" Old English þrægan, Gothic þragjan "to run").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper