English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English enthrallen, equivalent to en- +‎ thrall.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈθɹɔːl/
  • (file)

Verb edit

enthrall (third-person singular simple present enthralls, present participle enthralling, simple past and past participle enthralled) (transitive)

  1. To hold spellbound.
    Synonyms: bewitch, captivate, charm, enchant, transfix
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, chapter 5, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, London, New York, N.Y., Melbourne, Vic.: Ward Lock & Co., →OCLC:
      Fancy, Jim, to be in love and play Juliet! To have him sitting there! To play for his delight! I am afraid I may frighten the company, frighten or enthrall them.
    • 1913, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter 17, in The Return of Tarzan[1]:
      In the center of the circle of glittering black bodies he leaped and roared and shook his heavy spear in the same mad abandon that enthralled his fellow savages. The last remnant of his civilization was forgotten—he was a primitive man to the fullest now; reveling in the freedom of the fierce, wild life he loved, gloating in his kingship among these wild blacks.
  2. (now rare) To make subservient.
    Synonyms: enslave, subjugate
    Antonym: disenthrall
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book XII”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC:
      [] Who oft as undeservedly enthrall / His outward freedom: Tyranny must be;

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