[boi-ster-uhs, -struhs]


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

1425–75; late Middle English boistrous, variant of Middle English boistous crude, strong, fierce, gross; of obscure origin
Related formsbois·ter·ous·ly, adverbbois·ter·ous·ness, nounun·bois·ter·ous, adjectiveun·bois·ter·ous·ly, adverbun·bois·ter·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for boisterous

Antonyms for boisterous

1, 2. calm, serene. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boisterous

Contemporary Examples of boisterous

Historical Examples of boisterous

  • The accent was gentle; and he feared no boisterous intrusion.


    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.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Nothing rude, boisterous, insubordinate, or unkind appeared from any.

British Dictionary definitions for boisterous



noisy and lively; unrestrained or unruly
(of the wind, sea, etc) turbulent or stormy
Derived Formsboisterously, adverbboisterousness, noun

Word Origin for boisterous

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

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