or to ravish [rav-i-shing] or [rav-ish]
Examples of ravishing
Where does ravishing come from?
Ravish is recorded in the early 1300s. While it could more generally mean “rob” or “plunder,” ravish was specifically used of violently “dragging a woman away,” often involving rape.
The “rape” and “plunder” ravish now sounds more obsolete, and the sense of the verb has softened. If you say you want to ravish someone today, it usually means you really want to have passionate, consensual sex with them.
Ravish also survives in ravishing, as in you look ravishing. This sense is found in the 1400s, originally of something that produced a strong emotion in a person (i.e., something that has really seized them). That’s how ravishing gets used of something “enchanting” or “beautiful.”
Mina is good-looking, beautiful, pretty, handsome, lovely, stunning, striking, gorgeous, captivating, bewitching, charming, enchanting, appealing, delightful, irresistible, sexy, alluring, ravishing, hot, drop-dead gorgeous, out of this world, cute, adorable, sweet, nice, lovable
— tei (@onceistwice) January 29, 2018
Who uses ravishing?
In contemporary English, ravishing is primarily used to compliment women as captivating in their looks and sometimes personality. One may especially hear the word, say, during the Academy Awards as women take to the red carpet looking ravishing in their gowns. Ravishing may also be used of works of art, like music or paintings.
Win or lose Lana will always be #Ravishing 💙🙌
— Adrieyuanna (@adriejones) August 7, 2018
Contrary to its rape-related origins, to be ravished in contemporary English can be something many women would like in the bedroom. Ravish implies out-of-this-world, physically intense, and yet very romantic sex with a partner, typically where the woman’s pleasure is prioritized. It can be a fine line, however, as men may express the desire to ravish certain ladies, hopefully to make her happy but mostly likely just with the aim of feeling like Casanova.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of ravishing like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of ravishing that will help our users expand their word mastery.