[ruhm-puh s]

noun, plural rum·pus·es.

a noisy or violent disturbance; commotion; uproar: There was a terrible rumpus going on upstairs.
a heated controversy: a rumpus over the school-bond issue.

Origin of rumpus

First recorded in 1755–65; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rumpus

Contemporary Examples of rumpus

Historical Examples of rumpus

  • But the odds are against us, and there's no reason why you should be in the rumpus, Georgianna.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Elizabeth and her mother has had some sort of a rumpus," declared Esther.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • She happened to be out, strolling in the garden, and heard the rumpus.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice

  • For heaven's sake, Mr. Carmody, remember where we are and don't raise any rumpus.

    The Straw

    Eugene O'Neill

  • Tex was with him when we had the rumpus with the Kiowas on the Canadian.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for rumpus


noun plural -puses

a noisy, confused, or disruptive commotion

Word Origin for rumpus

C18: of unknown 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 rumpus

1764, of unknown origin, "prob. a fanciful formation" [OED], possibly an alteration of robustious "boisterous, noisy" (1540s; see robust). First record of rumpus room "play room for children in a family home" is from 1938.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper