1 definition by Ze Muffinman

Top Definition
Originally, the word rape was akin to rapine, rapture, raptor, and rapacious, and referred to the more general violations, such as looting, destruction, and capture of citizens that are inflicted upon a town or country during war, eg. the Rape of Nanking. Today, some dictionaries still define rape to include any serious and destructive assault against a person or community.

English rape was in use since the 14th century in the general sense of "seize prey, take by force," from raper, an Old French legal term for "to seize", in turn from Latin rapere "seize, carry off by force, abduct". The Latin term was also used for sexual violation, but only very rarely. The legendary event known as the "Rape of the Sabine Women", while ultimately motivated sexually, did not entail sexual violation of the Sabine women on the spot, who were rather abducted, and then implored by the Romans to marry them (as opposed to striking a deal with their fathers or brothers first, as would have been required by law).

Though the sexual connotation is today dominant, the word "rape" can be used in non-sexual context in literary English. In "the rape of the Silmarils" in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Silmarillion", the word "rape" is used with its old meaning of "seizing and taking away". In Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, the word "rape" is used hyperbolically, exaggerating a trivial violation against a person. Compare also the adjective rapacious which retains the generic meaning.

Sometimes, the word rape is used colloquially to dysphemistically describe forms of non-sexual unwelcome conduct, or metaphorically referring to environmental destruction, possibly implying a female gender of the Earth (Gaia). Other than in literary usage discussed above, this use of the term is unrelated to the original sense of "abduction" or "carrying off" and implies a comparison with sexual violation. In "The Rape of Nanking" actual mass rape and mass murder is summarized by naming the city as the object of the rape.
1. "Brandon raped me!"

2. "My team got raped on the field yesterday"

3. "The rape of the Earth"
by Ze Muffinman July 01, 2006

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