Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ram-buhngk-shuh s] /ræmˈbʌŋk ʃəs/
difficult to control or handle; wildly boisterous:
a rambunctious child.
turbulently active and noisy:
a social gathering that became rambunctious and out of hand.
Origin of rambunctious
An Americanism dating back to 1820-30; origin uncertain
Related forms
rambunctiously, adverb
rambunctiousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for rambunctious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was so strong in the wrists and fingers that she could hold them when they were rambunctious.

    The Seven Darlings Gouverneur Morris
  • Dan hates Injuns, an' he'd sure be rambunctious 'bout this one.

  • Just because I don't like rambunctious play doesn't mean I want to sleep all the time!

    Marjorie at Seacote

    Carolyn Wells
  • There seemed to be more than twenty of them; that, though, was due to the flitting movements of their rambunctious forms.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
  • There had been no cowboys watching the steers, for the corral had always been strong enough to hold the most rambunctious.

    Lords of the Stratosphere Arthur J. Burks
British Dictionary definitions for rambunctious


(informal) boisterous; unruly
Derived Forms
rambunctiously, adverb
rambunctiousness, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably from Icelandic ram- (intensifying prefix) + -bunctious, from bumptious
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for rambunctious

1859, earlier rumbunctious, 1830, probably altered (by influence of ram) from rumbustious.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for rambunctious



Boisterous; obstreperous; wild

[1859+; origin unknown; rumbunctious is found by 1830]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for rambunctious

Word Value for rambunctious

Scrabble Words With Friends