[trans, trahns]
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  1. a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended.
  2. a dazed or bewildered condition.
  3. a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing.
  4. an unconscious, cataleptic, or hypnotic condition.
  5. 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, tranc·ing.
  1. to put in a trance; stupefy.
  2. to entrance; enrapture.

Origin of trance

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 formstranced·ly [transt-lee, tran-sid-lee] /ˈtrænst li, ˈtræn sɪd li/, adverbtrance·like, adjective



or transe

  1. a passageway, as a hallway, alley, or the like.
verb (used without object), tranced, tranc·ing.
  1. to move or walk rapidly or briskly.

Origin of trance

1325–75; Middle English (v.); origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trancing

Historical Examples of trancing

  • No sylphs of the air, no trancing music out of the waters now!

    Memoirs of a Midget

    Walter de la Mare

British Dictionary definitions for trancing


  1. a hypnotic state resembling sleep
  2. 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
  3. a dazed or stunned state
  4. a state of ecstasy or mystic absorption so intense as to cause a temporary loss of consciousness at the earthly level
  5. 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
  6. a type of electronic dance music with repetitive rhythms, aiming at a hypnotic effect
  1. (tr) to put into or as into a trance
Derived Formstrancelike, adjective

Word Origin for trance

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

Word Origin and History for trancing



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

trancing in Medicine


  1. 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.