[ boi-ster-uhs, -struhs ]
/ 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.

Nearby words

  1. bois-brûlé,
  2. bois-le-duc,
  3. boisbriand,
  4. boise,
  5. boiserie,
  6. boisterously,
  7. boito,
  8. boito, arrigo,
  9. bojardo,
  10. bojardo, matteo maria

Origin of boisterous

1425–75; late Middle English boistrous, variant of Middle English boistous crude, strong, fierce, gross; of obscure origin

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boisterous

British Dictionary definitions for boisterous


/ (ˈbɔɪstərəs, -strəs) /


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