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[thrawl] /θrɔl/
a person who is in bondage; slave.
a person who is morally or mentally enslaved by some power, influence, or the like:
He was the thrall of morbid fantasies.
slavery; thralldom.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to put or hold in thralldom; enslave.
Archaic. subjected to bondage; enslaved.
Origin of thrall
before 950; Middle English; Old English thrǣl < Old Norse thrǣll slave
Related forms
unthralled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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


Also called thraldom, (US) thralldom (ˈθrɔːldəm). the state or condition of being in the power of another person
a person who is in such a state
a person totally subject to some need, desire, appetite, etc
(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

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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