[ rah-rah ]
/ ˈrɑˈrɑ /
Save This Word!

adjective Informal.
marked by or expressive of ardently enthusiastic spirit: a group of rah-rah undergraduates; a rah-rah attitude.
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of rah-rah

1910–15, Americanism; reduplication of rah

Words nearby rah-rah

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does rah-rah mean?

Rah-rah is an adjective used to describe an enthusiastic attitude or spirit or actions motivated by such spirit. It often implies that someone is cheering on supporting something in an uncritical or overly enthusiastic way.

It’s especially associated with sports. The term is based on the word rah, which is shouted as a cheer, typically by cheerleaders or fans at sporting events. (Rah is used in traditional cheers like rah, rah, sis boom bah).

Example: His rah-rah attitude about the company has prevented him from seeing its flaws.

Where does rah-rah come from?

The first records of the term rah-rah come from around 1900. The word rah as a cheer dates back to at least 1870. It is a shortening of hurrah, which comes from the similar German term hurra. Hurrah may have been based on or influenced by the earlier and very similar huzzah. Huzzah is thought to come from a word that sailors used to shout in celebration. It may derive from the word hoise, meaning “to hoist”—which they’d shout when hoisting (raising) something, like the sails of the ship.

Repetition of the word rah can be heard in many traditional cheers, leading to the use of the term rah-rah and its association with fandom. Applying the term rah-rah to something often implies that it involves an overly enthusiastic attitude, especially one that doesn’t consider any negative aspects about something.

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with rah-rah

What are some words that often get used in discussing rah-rah?

How is rah-rah used in real life?

Rah-rah is most commonly used in a negative way to criticize uncritical enthusiasm or support of something. It’s typically used in reference to sports, but it can be used in other contexts, such as politics and business.



Try using rah-rah!

Is rah-rah used correctly in the following sentence? 

We need fewer of these rah-rah pep rallies and more serious meetings.

How to use rah-rah in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rah-rah

/ (ˈrɑːˌrɑː) /

informal, mainly US like or marked by boisterous and uncritical enthusiasm and excitement

Word Origin for rah-rah

C20: a reduplication of rah
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