[ roo-soh; French roo-soh ]

  1. Hen·ri [ahn-ree], /ɑ̃ˈri/, "Le Douanier", 1844–1910, French painter.

  2. Jean Jacques [zhahnzhahk], /ʒɑ̃ ʒɑk/, 1712–78, French philosopher, author, and social reformer; born in Switzerland.

  1. (Pierre É·tienne) Thé·o·dore [pyerey-tyente-aw-dawr], /pyɛr eɪˈtyɛn tɛ ɔˈdɔr/, 1812–67, French painter. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Rousseau in a sentence

  • Both countries were responding to the ideas of radical thinkers like Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

  • As early as 1750, Jean-Jacques Rousseau had bemoaned that “neither reason nor virtue nor the laws will subjugate public opinion.”

    What Is Romanticism? | Jimmy So | September 25, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who had very little historical knowledge, has completely ignored the influence of Calvin on his republic.

    Catherine de' Medici | Honore de Balzac
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau in Emile advises the teacher to get the pupil to make his own playthings.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 | Gustave Flaubert
  • She borrowed her words from the infamous Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the friend of her scarce less infamous father—nay!

    My Lady Ludlow | Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher of the eighteenth century.

    Essays | Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau never gave his real self to the world despite the loud Gallic boast of the paragraphs above.

    Oscar Wilde | Leonard Cresswell Ingleby

British Dictionary definitions for Rousseau


/ (French ruso) /

  1. Henri (ɑ̃ri), known as le Douanier . 1844–1910, French painter, who created bold dreamlike pictures, often of exotic landscapes in a naive style. Among his works are Sleeping Gypsy (1897) and Jungle with a Lion (1904–06). He also worked as a customs official

  2. Jean Jacques (ʒɑ̃ ʒak). 1712–78, French philosopher and writer, born in Switzerland, who strongly influenced the theories of the French Revolution and the romantics. Many of his ideas spring from his belief in the natural goodness of man, whom he felt was warped by society. His works include Du contrat social (1762), Émile (1762), and his Confessions (1782)

  1. Théodore (teɔdɔr). 1812–67, French landscape painter: leader of the Barbizon school

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