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See more synonyms for rouse on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), roused, rous·ing.
  1. to bring out of a state of sleep, unconsciousness, inactivity, fancied security, apathy, depression, etc.: He was roused to action by courageous words.
  2. to stir or incite to strong indignation or anger.
  3. to cause (game) to start from a covert or lair.
  4. Nautical. to pull by main strength; haul.
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verb (used without object), roused, rous·ing.
  1. to come out of a state of sleep, unconsciousness, inactivity, apathy, depression, etc.
  2. to start up from a covert or lair, as game.
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  1. a rousing.
  2. a signal for rousing; reveille.
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Origin of rouse1

1480–90 in sense “(of a hawk) to shake the feathers”; 1525–35 for def 3; origin uncertain
Related formsrous·ed·ness [rou-zid-nis] /ˈraʊ zɪd nɪs/, nounrous·er, nounun·roused, adjective


See more synonyms for rouse on Thesaurus.com
1. arouse, stir, excite, animate, stimulate, awaken, kindle, inflame, fire. 2. provoke, anger.

Synonym study

1, 2. See incite.


1, 2. lull, calm, pacify.


  1. Archaic. a carouse.
  2. Obsolete. a bumper of liquor.
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Origin of rouse2

1595–1605; perhaps variant of carouse (drink carouse being wrongly analyzed as drink a rouse)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rouse

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They'll take the telephone and rouse the towns all along the mountains.

  • If she could rouse herself to try to save that girl it would be the best thing she could do.

  • I would have sent you word, but I did not want to rouse you.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But Felicien had discovered one way in which he could rouse her, and he took advantage of it.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • He was as a sportsman, for it would not do to rouse suspicion.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for rouse


  1. to bring (oneself or another person) out of sleep, unconsciousness, etc, or (of a person) to come to consciousness in this way
  2. (tr) to provoke, stir, or exciteto rouse someone's anger
  3. rouse oneself to become active or energetic
  4. hunting to start or cause to start from coverto rouse game birds
  5. (intr) falconry (of hawks) to ruffle the feathers and cause them to stand briefly on end (a sign of contentment)
  6. (raʊs) (intr foll by on) Australian to speak scoldingly or rebukingly (to)
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  1. mainly US another term for reveille
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Derived Formsrousedness (ˈraʊzɪdnɪs), noun

Word Origin

C15 (in sense 5): origin obscure


noun archaic
  1. an alcoholic drink, esp a full measure
  2. another word for carousal
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Word Origin

C17: probably a variant of carouse (as in the phrase drink a rouse, erroneous for drink carouse); compare Danish drikke en rus to become drunk, German Rausch drunkenness
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 rouse


mid-15c., intransitive probably from Anglo-French or Old French reuser, ruser, originally used in English of hawks shaking the feathers of the body, but like many hawking terms it is of obscure origin. Figurative meaning "to stir up, provoke to activity" is from 1580s; that of "awaken" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Roused; rousing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper