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thrall

[thrawl] /θrɔl/
noun
1.
a person who is in bondage; slave.
2.
a person who is morally or mentally enslaved by some power, influence, or the like:
He was the thrall of morbid fantasies.
3.
slavery; thralldom.
verb (used with object)
4.
Archaic. to put or hold in thralldom; enslave.
adjective
5.
Archaic. subjected to bondage; enslaved.
Origin
950
before 950; Middle English; Old English thrǣl < Old Norse thrǣll slave
Related forms
unthralled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for thrall
  • Order cannot be imposed from the top down and too many politicians are in thrall to powerful, moneyed interests.
  • The consequence of being in thrall to a bloodline is a weak party that lacks shared policies or common values.
  • The little, nameless creek tumbling through our hollow holds us in thrall.
  • If we're in thrall to big ideas, it's largely because we're powerless against small interests.
  • The pro-horse side sees an agency in thrall to commercial interests-specifically, to ranchers.
  • Moreover, the defeat is a calamity for several poor countries, some virtually in thrall to drug barons.
  • New regulatory structures should be run by people less in thrall to those that they regulate.
  • It is not in thrall to the former dictator's memory.
  • The younger they are, the easier to brainwash and keep in thrall by sheer terror.
  • Its vision of people in thrall to religious ritual and living at the mercy of nature may be poetic, but it is no idyll.
British Dictionary definitions for thrall

thrall

/θrɔːl/
noun
1.
Also called thraldom, (US) thralldom (ˈθrɔːldəm). the state or condition of being in the power of another person
2.
a person who is in such a state
3.
a person totally subject to some need, desire, appetite, etc
verb
4.
(transitive) to enslave or dominate
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for thrall
n.

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
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