|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|
|a chattering or flighty, light-headed person.|
|—n , pl -sies|
|1.||(often plural) a state of exalted delight, joy, etc; rapture|
|2.||intense emotion of any kind: an ecstasy of rage|
|3.||psychol overpowering emotion characterized by loss of self-control and sometimes a temporary loss of consciousness: often associated with orgasm, religious mysticism, and the use of certain drugs|
|4.||archaic a state of prophetic inspiration, esp of poetic rapture|
|5.||slang 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine; MDMA: a powerful drug that acts as a stimulant and can produce hallucinations|
|[C14: from Old French extasie, via Medieval Latin from Greek ekstasis displacement, trance, from existanai to displace, from ex- out + histanai to cause to stand]|
ecstasy ec·sta·sy (ěk'stə-sē)
in mysticism, the experience of an inner vision of God or of one's relation to or union with the divine. Various methods have been used to achieve ecstasy, which is a primary goal in most forms of religious mysticism. The most typical consists of four stages: (1) purgation (of bodily desire); (2) purification (of the will); (3) illumination (of the mind); and (4) unification (of one's being or will with the divine). Other methods are: dancing (as used by the Mawlawiyah, or whirling dervishes, a Muslim Sufi sect); the use of sedatives and stimulants (as utilized in some Hellenistic mystery religions); and the use of certain drugs, such as peyote, mescaline, hashish, LSD, and similar products (in certain Islamic sects and modern experimental religious groups). Most mystics, both in the East and in the West, frown on the use of drugs because no permanent change in the personality (in the mystical sense) has been known to occur.
Learn more about ecstasy with a free trial on Britannica.com.