c. 1600, "act of carrying off," from Middle French rapture, from Medieval Latin raptura "seizure, rape, kidnapping," from Latin raptus "a carrying off, abduction, snatching away; rape" (see rapt). Earliest attested use in English is of women and in 17c. it sometimes meant rape (v.), which word is a cognate of this. Sense of "spiritual ecstasy, state of mental transport" first recorded c. 1600 (raptures).
1630s, from rapture (n.). Related: Raptured; rapturing.
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