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[boi-ster-uh s, -struh s] /ˈbɔɪ stər əs, -strəs/
rough and noisy; noisily jolly or rowdy; clamorous; unrestrained:
the sound of boisterous laughter.
(of waves, weather, wind, etc.) rough and stormy.
Obsolete. rough and massive.
Origin of boisterous
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English boistrous, variant of Middle English boistous crude, strong, fierce, gross; of obscure origin
Related forms
boisterously, adverb
boisterousness, noun
unboisterous, adjective
unboisterously, adverb
unboisterousness, noun
1. uproarious, obstreperous, roistering, loud, vociferous, impetuous. 1, 2. tempestuous, tumultuous, turbulent, violent, wild.
1, 2. calm, serene. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for boisterous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The accent was gentle; and he feared no boisterous intrusion.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • The evening was boisterous—scarcely better than the previous night had been.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • They are not talkative and boisterous as these are, but silent, sullen and revengeful.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare Alexander Scott Withers
  • Fanfulla eyed him, infected by the boisterous gladness of his mood.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • Nothing rude, boisterous, insubordinate, or unkind appeared from any.

British Dictionary definitions for boisterous


/ˈbɔɪstərəs; -strəs/
noisy and lively; unrestrained or unruly
(of the wind, sea, etc) turbulent or stormy
Derived Forms
boisterously, adverb
boisterousness, noun
Word Origin
C13 boistuous, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for boisterous

late 15c., unexplained alteration of Middle English boistous (c.1300) "rough, coarse (as of food), clumsy, violent," of unknown origin, perhaps from Anglo-French bustous "rough (road)," which is perhaps from Old French boisteos "curved, lame; uneven, rough" (Modern French boiteux), itself of obscure origin. Another guess traces it via Celtic to Latin bestia. Used of persons from 1560s. Related: Boisterously; boisterousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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