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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 boisterously
Historical Examples
  • They all laughed, not boisterously, actually an appreciative laugh.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • The latter was no sooner visible, than Rigaud rushed at him and embraced him boisterously.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Sir Aaron Armstrong, as he boisterously explained, had no nerves.

  • “Why, I ought to feel your pulse now, and not you mine,” he said boisterously.

    The Bag of Diamonds George Manville Fenn
  • Dickens, as we all feel in reading his books, was boisterously English.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • He was at once boisterously urged to draw up to the table between us.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • The short man haw-hawed again, but not quite so boisterously.

    Shoe-Bar Stratton

    Joseph Bushnell Ames
  • She kissed her boisterously, asked how she was, as if she were the mother, the other the child.

  • Because you find a companion, shall I be boisterously hilarious?

    The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

    Sir Arthur Wing Pinero
  • He broke in on Matilda as she was at breakfast, rushed at her boisterously.

    Old Mole Gilbert Cannan
British Dictionary definitions for boisterously


/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 boisterously



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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