[ shiv-uh-ree, shiv-uh-ree, shuh-riv-uh-ree or, especially British, shahr-uh-vahr-ee ]

noun, verb (used with object),plural cha·ri·va·ris,cha·ri·va·ried, cha·ri·va·ri·ing.
  1. a variant of shivaree.

Origin of charivari

<French, Middle French, of obscure origin; said to be <Late Latin carībaria headache <Greek karēbaría, equivalent to karē-, combining form of kárā,kárē head + -baria (bar(ys) heavy + -ia-ia), on the hypothesis that such a noisy procession would cause a headache
  • Also chivaree, chivari [shiv-uh-ree, shiv-uh-ree] /ˌʃɪv əˈri, ˈʃɪv əˌri/ .

Words Nearby charivari Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use charivari in a sentence

  • If there was one there were fifty big locomotives waiting to charivari the McWilliams Special.

    The Nerve of Foley | Frank H. Spearman
  • At times, this produced a din of voices by no means pleasant to the ear; indeed, it was not unworthy of the name of charivari.

  • A charivari, even out here in this uncivilized section of the country, can hardly be dangerous.

    Lonesome Land | B. M. Bower
  • As a writer of drollery and scandal in the charivari, would it have been well if he had used his title as a badge?

    Paris under the Commune | John Leighton
  • No, never since French operas began, was there such a charivari heard.

    Classic French Course in English | William Cleaver Wilkinson

British Dictionary definitions for charivari


shivaree or esp US chivaree

/ (ˌʃɑːrɪˈvɑːrɪ) /

  1. a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc

  2. a confused noise; din

Origin of charivari

C17: from French, from Late Latin caribaria headache, from Greek karēbaria, from karē head + barus heavy

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