"plunder; the violent seizure and carrying off of property," early 15c., from Old French rapine (12c.) and directly from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering, pillage," from rapere "seize, carry off, rob" (see rapid).
Entries linking to rapine
1630s, "moving or doing quickly, capable of great speed," from French rapide (17c.) and directly from Latin rapidus "hasty, swift; snatching; fierce, impetuous," from rapere "hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder," from PIE root *rep- "to snatch" (source also of Greek ereptomai "devour," harpazein "snatch away," Lithuanian raplės "tongs").
Meaning "happening in a short time, coming quickly into existence" is from 1780. Related: Rapidly; rapidness. Rapid-fire (adj.) 1890 in reference to guns, figurative or transferred use by 1900; the noun phrase is by 1836. Rapid-transit first attested 1852, in reference to street railways; rapid eye movement, associated with a certain phase of sleep, is from 1906.
late 14c., ravinous, "obsessed with plundering, extremely greedy," from Old French ravinos, ravinous, of people, "rapacious, violent," of water, "swift-flowing," from raviner "to seize, pillage; to sweep down, cascade," from ravine "violent rush, robbery," from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine). Meaning "voracious, furiously hungry" is from early 15c. (compare ravening). Related: Ravenously; ravenousness.
1760, "long deep gorge worn by a stream or torrent of water," from French ravin "a gully" (1680s, from Old French raviner "to pillage; to sweep down, cascade"), and from French ravine "violent rush of water, gully worn by a torrent" (from Old French ravine "violent rush of water, waterfall; avalanche; robbery, rapine"). The French noun and verb both are ultimately from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine) with sense influenced by Latin rapidus "rapid."
Ravine appears in an English dictionary 1610s as "a raging flood." Middle English ravin, ravine meant "booty, plunder, robbery" from c. 1350-1500, an earlier borrowing of the French word. Compare raven (v.), ravening.
updated on April 20, 2021