late 14c., "carried away in an ecstatic trance," from Latin raptus, past participle of rapere "seize, carry off" (see rape (v.)). A figurative sense, the notion is of "carried up into Heaven (bodily or in a dream)," as in a saint's vision. Latin literal sense of "carried away" was in English from 1550s. In 15c.-17c. the word also sometimes could mean "raped." Sense of "engrossed" first recorded c. 1500. As a past-participle adjective, in English it spawned the back-formed verb rap "to affect with rapture," which was common c. 1600-1750.