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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English rowsen, rouzen, rusen (to rush out), from Old Norse *rūsa (to storm out, rush), from Proto-Germanic *rūsaną (to bluster, be fierce, storm), from Proto-Indo-European *(o)rewǝ- (to move, drive, agitate). Cognate with Swedish rusa (to rush, hurry, dash, scurry), Danish ruse (to rush), Middle Dutch rūsen (to race, rage), Middle Low German rūsen (to rush, bluster, make a clamour). More at rush.

Alternative forms[edit]


rouse (plural rouses)

  1. an arousal
  2. an official ceremony over drinks
    And the King's rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
    Re-speaking earthly thunder. - "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2 lines 127-128
  3. A carousal; a festival; a drinking frolic.
    • Tennyson
      Fill the cup, and fill the can, / Have a rouse before the morn.
  4. (military, UK and Canada) The sounding of a bugle in the morning after reveille, to signal that soldiers are to rise from bed, often the rouse.


rouse (third-person singular simple present rouses, present participle rousing, simple past and past participle roused)

  1. to wake or be awoken from sleep, or from apathy.
    to rouse the faculties, passions, or emotions
    • Atterbury
      to rouse up a people, the most phlegmatic of any in Christendom
    • Shakespeare
      Night's black agents to their preys do rouse.
    • Alexander Pope
      Morpheus rouses from his bed.
  2. ​ To provoke (someone) to anger or action.
    • Milton
      Blustering winds, which all night long / Had roused the sea.
  3. To cause to start from a covert or lurking place.
    to rouse a deer or other animal of the chase
    • Spenser
      Like wild boars late roused out of the brakes.
    • Alexander Pope
      Rouse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound.
  4. (nautical) To pull by main strength; to haul
  5. (obsolete) To raise; to make erect.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

Of North Germanic origin, related to Icelandic rúss, Danish rus (drunkenness, a drunken fit, ecstacy, rush), Swedish rus (intoxication, a rush), Dutch roes (a high, a rush), German Rausch (a rush). Related to rush.


rouse (plural rouses)

  1. wine or other liquor considered an inducement to mirth or drunkenness; a full glass; a bumper.