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by zenwords staff

In thrall to Lincoln's persausive powersI recently spent a pleasant evening engrossed with Steven Speilberg’s Lincoln. At one point, a grousing Thaddeus Stevens (brilliantly channeled by Tommy Lee Jones) chastised his subordinates for ‘being in thrall’ to the folksy persausions of the 16th President.

What are you in thrall to?


Thrall (thrawl) n. A slave or serf who is held in bondage; one who is intellectually or morally enslaved; servitude; bondage: a state of complete absorption.

Jonestown residents were a people in thrall to the ego and lies of their leader.



Thrall was a term for a serf during the Viking Age.Thralls were the lowest-class workers in Scandinavian society. The Scandinavian thralls were Northern Europeans brought into slavery due to debt, children of previously enslaved thralls, or the losers of war. The Thralls living in Northern Europe had no rights and the living conditions were variable depending on the master. The word Thrall migrated to the British Isles and became an Olde English word for a bondsman, serf or slave.

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