c.1300, "to seize (someone) by violence, carry (a person, esp. a woman) away," from O.Fr. raviss-, prp. stem of ravir "to seize, take away hastily," from V.L. *rapire, from L. rapere "to seize, hurry away" (see rapid). Meaning "to commit rape upon" is recorded from mid-15c.
Ravishing "act of plundering" is from c.1300; in the sense of "enchanting" it is attested from early 15c., from notion of "carrying off from earth to heaven" (early 14c.).