Origin of rave

1325–75; 1915–25 for def 2; Middle English raven (v.), probably < Middle French resver to wander, be delirious
Related formsrav·er, noun

Synonyms for rave




a vertical sidepiece of a wagon or other vehicle.

Origin of rave

1520–30; alteration of dial. rathe, Middle English < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rave

Contemporary Examples of rave

Historical Examples of rave

  • "Let him rave," he observed enigmatically, and began to smoke.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • To come to rave against and abuse my dearest, dearest, faultless friend!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I've got you this opportunity, and you do nothing but rave up and down, and talk nonsense!

  • The patient had ceased to rave and was lying quiet on the bed.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The men all rave of her, so that we are half jealous already.

    That Boy Of Norcott's

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for rave




to utter (something) in a wild or incoherent manner, as when mad or delirious
(intr) to speak in an angry uncontrolled manner
(intr) (of the sea, wind, etc) to rage or roar
(intr ; foll by over or about) informal to write or speak (about) with great enthusiasm
(intr) British slang to enjoy oneself wildly or uninhibitedly


  1. enthusiastic or extravagant praise
  2. (as modifier)a rave review
British slang
  1. Also called: rave-upa party
  2. a professionally organized party for young people, with electronic dance music, sometimes held in a field or disused building
British slang a fad or fashionthe latest rave
a name given to various types of dance music, such as techno, that feature fast electronic rhythm

Word Origin for rave

C14 raven, apparently from Old French resver to wander




a vertical sidepiece on a wagon

Word Origin for rave

C16: modification of dialect rathe, of uncertain 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 rave

early 14c., "to show signs of madness or delirium," from Old French raver, variant of resver "to dream; wander here and there, prowl; behave madly, be crazy," of unknown origin (cf. reverie). The identical (in form) verb meaning "to wander, stray, rove" first appeared c.1300 in Scottish and northern dialect, and is probably from an unrelated Scandinavian word (cf. Icelandic rafa). Sense of "talk enthusiastically about" first recorded 1704. Related: Raved; raving.


"act of raving," 1590s, from rave (v.). Meaning "temporary popular enthusiasm" is from 1902; that of "highly flattering review" is from 1926. Sense of "rowdy party" is from 1960; rave-up was British slang for "wild party" from 1940; specific modern sense of "mass party with loud, fast electronic music and often psychedelic drugs" is from 1989.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with rave


see rant and rave; stark raving mad.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.