1. deeply engrossed or absorbed: a rapt listener.

  2. transported with emotion; enraptured: rapt with joy.

Definition of rapt (continued)

  1. showing or proceeding from rapture: a rapt smile.

  2. carried off spiritually to another place, sphere of existence, etc.

Origin of rapt

1350–1400; Middle English (past participle of rapen to carry off, abduct, rape) < Latin raptus seized, carried off (past participle of rapere), equivalent to rap- (see rape1) + -tus past participle suffix


Related Forms

  • adverb: raptly
  • noun: raptness

Can Be Confused


2. ecstatic, spellbound, bewitched.

See more synonyms for rapt

Grammar Greats and Gaffes


see antonyms for rapt



verb (used with object), rapped, rap·ping.

  1. to strike, especially with a quick, smart, or light blow: He rapped the door with his cane.

  2. to utter sharply or vigorously: to rap out a command.

  3. (of a spirit summoned by a medium) to communicate (a message) by raps (often followed by out).

  4. Slang.to criticize sharply: Critics could hardly wait to rap the play.

  5. Slang.to arrest, detain, or sentence for a crime.

  6. Metallurgy.to jar (a pattern) loose from a sand mold.

verb (used without object), rapped, rap·ping.

  1. to knock smartly or lightly, especially so as to make a noise: to rap on a door.

  2. Slang.to talk or discuss, especially freely, openly, or volubly; chat.

  3. Slang.to talk rhythmically to the beat of rap music.


  1. a quick, smart, or light blow: a rap on the knuckles with a ruler.

  2. the sound produced by such a blow: They heard a loud rap at the door.

  3. Slang.blame or punishment, especially for a crime.

  4. Slang.a criminal charge: a murder rap.

  5. Slang.response, reception, or judgment: The product has been getting a very bad rap.

  6. Slang.
    • a talk, conversation, or discussion; chat.

    • talk designed to impress, convince, etc.; spiel: a high-pressure sales rap.

  7. rap music.



  1. beat the rap, Slang.to succeed in evading the penalty for a crime; be acquitted: The defendant calmly insisted that he would beat the rap.

  2. take the rap, Slang.to take the blame and punishment for a crime committed by another: He took the rap for the burglary.

Origin of rap2

1300–50; 1960–65 for def 8; Middle English rappen (v.), rap(p)e (noun); akin to Swedish rappa to beat, drub, German rappeln to rattle; senses “to talk,” “conversation, talk” perhaps of distinct orig., though the hypothesis that it is a shortening of repartee is questionable


Can Be Confused2

rap wrap

rapped rapt wrapped



verb (used with object), rapped or rapt, rap·ping. Archaic.

  1. to carry off; transport.

  2. to transport with rapture.

  3. to seize for oneself; snatch.

Origin of rap3

First recorded in 1520–30; back formation from rapt



see translations for rapt

Examples from the News

  • Ali walked up and hugged Gil, and the pair discussed music and racism and current events before a rapt audience.

    Marcus Baram

    ‘The Prince of Chocolate City’: When Gil Scott-Heron Became A Music Icon
  • Golden Age-of-TV evangelists prate on about which glorified soap operas are most deserving of our rapt attention.

    Stefan Beck

    America’s Meddlers Are Our Worst Enemies
  • The crowd in Powell's was rapt—when it wasn't doubled over in laughter.

    Winston Ross

    Reza Aslan’s Sweet Revenge
  • Iran's nuclear plan is progressing," he told a rapt audience, but added, "Iran is being careful not to cross any red lines.

    Ali Gharib

    What The Head Of Israel's Military Intelligence Thinks Of Iran
  • Familiar with this horrendous chapter in history, the Israelis followed the commentary and exhibits mostly in rapt silence.

    Emily L. Hauser

    Looking Each Other in the Eye


  • Every woman will read the story of my life with rapt attention because of the Secret.

    Harriet Stark

    The Bacillus of Beauty
  • That night, she lay awake for one rapt hour, and then she slept the sleep of conquerors.

    Alice Brown

    Tiverton Tales
  • Dorcas was alive to the rapt contagion, and her own blood thrilled.

    Alice Brown

    Meadow Grass
  • We stood in rapt contemplation for a few moments, and then walked away.

    George MacDonald

    Wilfrid Cumbermede
  • His ear drank in the voice of the tempest; he was rapt in attention to the roaring thunder.

    William Godwin