in thrall

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.
Most of Europe is in thrall to Russia's oil wealth and is showing no signs of wanting to shut that down.
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.
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.
We associate the remote with passive compliance, the extreme inertia of the couch potato held in thrall for hours on end to programmers, advertisers, and their brain-numbing come-ons.
Despite its cheekiness -- when the Doctor finally comes to, with the planet in thrall to an alien horde, his first words to sidekick Rose (Billie Piper) are a cheerful, ``Did you miss me?
In reality, Canada is now in thrall to the spirit of Trudeau's 1982 Charter of Rights.
And while many admired his technical skill, more than a few also dismissed the work's reliance on the fantastical and/or pornographic as sophomoric, judging the works a little too slick for their own good and weirdly in thrall to the tropes they were ostensibly designed to interrogate.
Desiree when in drag, or Cupid when lost in heart-aching reminiscences of his home in Scotland's far; flung Orkney Islands) finds himself a prostitute in thrall to a pimp and former Nazi skinhead, himself a Rumanian exile from Ceausescu's fascist regime busy seeking his own convoluted path to redemption.
Alcoholism was Beckman's most enduring battle, begun at a young age, but he eventually also fell in thrall to crystal moth.
To those in thrall, such private railcars are known as "Private Varnish," named for the high gloss sheen of their exterior.
JAPAN is in thrall to a new equine hero after Deep Impact took his unbeaten record to four with a spectacular performance in yesterday's Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) at Nakayama, writes Nicholas Godfrey.