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[trans, trahns] /træns, trɑns/
a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended.
a dazed or bewildered condition.
a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing.
an unconscious, cataleptic, or hypnotic condition.
Spiritualism. a temporary state in which a medium, with suspension of personal consciousness, is controlled by an intelligence from without and used as a means of communication, as from the dead.
verb (used with object), tranced, trancing.
to put in a trance; stupefy.
to entrance; enrapture.
Origin of trance1
1300-50; Middle English traunce state of extreme dread, swoon, dazed state < Middle French transe literally, passage (from life to death), derivative of transir to go across, pass over < Latin trānsīre, equivalent to trāns- trans- + īre to go
Related forms
[transt-lee, tran-sid-lee] /ˈtrænst li, ˈtræn sɪd li/ (Show IPA),
trancelike, adjective


[trahns] /trɑns/ Scot.
a passageway, as a hallway, alley, or the like.
verb (used without object), tranced, trancing.
to move or walk rapidly or briskly.
Also, transe.
1325-75; Middle English (v.); origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for trance
  • She had the audience captivated in a state of complete trance.
  • It is reasonable to suspect that the drug imitates the same altered state as meditation, trance or deep prayer.
  • But while he's in that trance state, he should also be reasonably suggestible.
  • Frequently he catches people in the strange trance state that freeway driving induces or glancing idly at the cars around them.
  • Her hypnotherapist stayed by her side throughout, monitoring her trance state and refocusing her mind when it drifted.
  • Hypnotic trance and mindfulness meditation have both been shown to have benefits for physical health.
  • At concerts he would simply play the same note over and over, or stand still in a trance.
  • She'd stand under the heat lamp, legs wide apart, her fuzzy red head slowly tipping forward in a kind of narcoleptic trance.
  • Bikes get stolen, people get in fights over how loud the trance music is, someone still has to coordinate port-a-potties.
  • The ensuing techno, electronic and trance music gradually elbowed out the other metal sub-genres.
British Dictionary definitions for trance


a hypnotic state resembling sleep
any mental state in which a person is unaware or apparently unaware of the environment, characterized by loss of voluntary movement, rigidity, and lack of sensitivity to external stimuli
a dazed or stunned state
a state of ecstasy or mystic absorption so intense as to cause a temporary loss of consciousness at the earthly level
(spiritualism) a state in which a medium, having temporarily lost consciousness, can supposedly be controlled by an intelligence from without as a means of communication with the dead
a type of electronic dance music with repetitive rhythms, aiming at a hypnotic effect
(transitive) to put into or as into a trance
Derived Forms
trancelike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French transe, from transir to faint, pass away, from Latin trānsīre to go over, from trans- + īre to go
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 trance

late 14c., "state of extreme dread or suspense," also "a dazed, half-conscious or insensible condition," from Old French transe "fear of coming evil," originally "passage from life to death" (12c.), from transir "be numb with fear," originally "die, pass on," from Latin transire "cross over" (see transient). French trance in its modern sense has been reborrowed from English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trance in Medicine

trance (trāns)
An altered state of consciousness as in hypnosis, catalepsy, or ecstasy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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trance in the Bible

(Gr. ekstasis, from which the word "ecstasy" is derived) denotes the state of one who is "out of himself." Such were the trances of Peter and Paul, Acts 10:10; 11:5; 22:17, ecstasies, "a preternatural, absorbed state of mind preparing for the reception of the vision", (comp. 2 Cor. 12:1-4). In Mark 5:42 and Luke 5:26 the Greek word is rendered "astonishment," "amazement" (comp. Mark 16:8; Acts 3:10).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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