[boi-ster-uhs, -struhs]
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  1. rough and noisy; noisily jolly or rowdy; clamorous; unrestrained: the sound of boisterous laughter.
  2. (of waves, weather, wind, etc.) rough and stormy.
  3. 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

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Antonyms for boisterous

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

Examples from the Web for boisterously

Historical Examples of boisterously

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

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for boisterously


  1. noisy and lively; unrestrained or unruly
  2. (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 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