noun, plural row·dies.

a rough, disorderly person.

adjective, row·di·er, row·di·est.

rough and disorderly: rowdy behavior at school.

Origin of rowdy

1810–20, Americanism; perhaps irregular from row3
Related formsrow·di·ly, adverbrow·di·ness, nounun·row·dy, adjective

Synonyms for rowdy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rowdy

Contemporary Examples of rowdy

Historical Examples of rowdy

  • I was conscious of a bit of the rowdy in my manner, but I seemed powerless to prevent it.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • For then was the time that she preferred for her rowdy tricks.

    The Tale of Mrs. Ladybug

    Arthur Scott Bailey

  • It was renowned for its riots, and was, in fact (to use a slang word) a "rowdy" place.

    We Two

    Edna Lyall

  • And in spite of all his efforts, the school was as rowdy as ever.

    The Willoughby Captains

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • They have not quite the rowdy actuality of Mr. Tarkington's urchins.

    Explorers of the Dawn

    Mazo de la Roche

British Dictionary definitions for rowdy


adjective -dier or -diest

tending to create noisy disturbances; rough, loud, or disorderlya rowdy gang of football supporters

noun plural -dies

a person who behaves in a rough disorderly fashion
Derived Formsrowdily, adverbrowdiness, noun

Word Origin for rowdy

C19: originally US slang, perhaps related to row ³
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 rowdy

"a rough, quarrelsome person," 1808, American English, originally "lawless backwoodsman," probably from row (n.2). The adjective is first recorded 1819. Related: Rowdily; rowdiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper