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[rou-dee] /ˈraʊ di/
noun, plural rowdies.
a rough, disorderly person.
adjective, rowdier, rowdiest.
rough and disorderly:
rowdy behavior at school.
Origin of rowdy
1810-20, Americanism; perhaps irregular from row3
Related forms
rowdily, adverb
rowdiness, noun
unrowdy, adjective
2. boisterous, unruly, obstreperous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rowdiness
Historical Examples
  • Even in the relapse into rowdiness there is a sort of relapse into comfort.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • Valletta is well policed; rowdiness does not obtrude itself upon the stranger.

    The Story of Malta Maturin M. Ballou
  • He is averse to rowdiness or horse-play of any kind, and avoids giving offence.

  • Such establishments could not continue to exist if rowdiness and horseplay were permitted without protest.

    The Daughters of a Genius Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • There was no flaunting vice, no rowdiness, no drunkenness, only the squalor of an Oriental city without its quaintness and colour.

  • It does not come in their way to go forth and exhibit their rowdiness among strangers.

    Travelling Sketches. Anthony Trollope
  • At times there were manifestations of rowdiness, but they were speedily and readily quelled.

British Dictionary definitions for rowdiness


adjective -dier, -diest
tending to create noisy disturbances; rough, loud, or disorderly: a rowdy gang of football supporters
noun (pl) -dies
a person who behaves in a rough disorderly fashion
Derived Forms
rowdily, adverb
rowdiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: originally US slang, perhaps related to row³
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 rowdiness



"a rough, quarrelsome person," 1808, American English, originally "lawless backwoodsman," probably from row (n.2). The adjective is first recorded 1819. Related: Rowdily; rowdiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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