2. An act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse: The rape of the countryside was committed by military forces which were out of control.
3. The act of seizing and carrying off by force: History has many examples of the rapes of ancient cities.
4. Etymology: "to seize prey, to take by force," from Anglo-French raper, Old French raper, "to seize, to abduct"; a legal term, from Latin rapere, "to seize, to carry off by force, to abduct".
Latin rapere was used for "sexual violation", but only very rarely; the usual Latin word being stuprum; literally, "disgrace".
The sense of "sexual violation" or "ravishing of a woman" was first recorded in English as a noun, in 1481 A.D. The noun sense of "taking anything (including a woman) away by force" is from about 1400 A.D.
According to the law, the marital status of the person who is raped is usually irrelevant; moreover, the crime is codified under various names, including first degree sexual assault, sexual battery, unlawful sexual intercourse, and first degree sexual abuse.2. To plunder or to pillage: The Romans raped (sacked or plundered) many places during their years of conquering.