in thrall

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in thrall

1. Very interested in and/or paying close attention (to something). I was thrilled to see my students in thrall during the assembly, instead of talking or passing notes.
2. Under one's or something's control or influence to an extreme degree. My daughter's new boyfriend has her totally in thrall. She seems to go along with everything he says.

in (somebody’s/something’s) ˈthrall

,

in ˈthrall to somebody/something

(literary) controlled or strongly influenced by somebody/something: The country’s economy is still largely in thrall to the big companies.
References in classic literature ?
All his former fears were forgotten or merged in the gigantic terror that now held him in thrall. Apart from that, he had but one thought: to complete his written appeal to the benign powers who, traversing the haunted wood, might some time rescue him if he should be denied the blessing of annihilation.
Is the nation to be held in thrall to self-indulgence?
After revealing their wacky back story - they sought to serve bad guys through history, from T-Rex to Napoleon - the story sees the minions in London during the swinging sixties, in thrall to supervillain Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) and her evil plan to steal the crown jewels.
The Rankins were regular ceilidh attendees, but a generation on, it is the modern Glasgow pop school who Alvvays hold in thrall, this debut LP recalling the shimmering heartbreak pop of prime Camera Obscura, and Rankin's glowing vocals cosied up to yearning lyrics and gilded guitar hooks attesting to an eager kinship.
They are not helped, though, by the increasing perception that they are in thrall to leading managers and players.
That so many people still remain in thrall to monarchy after a thousand years of servility is something to be wondered at.
I felt torn emotions, an emptiness, a sudden silent desolation, And yet a wondrous, awesome extravaganza of simplicity, I was in thrall! We see, we don't understand, it is of no consequence In life's hurry and scurry, unimportant?
This Coalition does nothing about those rising costs because too many of its members are in thrall to big business.
But that's exactly what's happened as, despite still clearly being in thrall to The Beatles, the mono-browed moody one has widened his palette to take on the likes of Can, The Rolling Stones and - evident from Four Letter Word's Kashmir-like strings - a bit of Led Zeppelin.
Just what it is then about Jade, her life, cancer battle and now death which holds us all in thrall?
It just proves how in thrall - not least this present government - our rulers are to the bankers (or "banksters" as the late PM Harold Macmillan perceptively called them).
Their infectious electronica held the audience in thrall for a good 1 1/2 hours as the venue was turned into what resembled one giant rave.
This new automotive museum by Mansilla & Tunon, however, is not in thrall to any particular brand.