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From Middle French carousser (to quaff, drink, swill), from German gar aus (literally quite out), from gar austrinken (to drink up entirely, guzzle).[1] Compare German Garaus.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kəˈɹaʊz/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊz


carouse (third-person singular simple present carouses, present participle carousing, simple past and past participle caroused)

  1. (intransitive) To engage in a noisy or drunken social gathering. [from 1550s]
    We are all going to carouse at Brian's tonight.
  2. (intransitive) To drink to excess.
    If I survive this headache, I promise no more carousing at Brian's.

Derived terms[edit]



carouse (plural carouses)

  1. A large draught of liquor.
    • 1600, William Kempe, Kemps nine daies vvonder, page 4–5:
      [] therefore forward I went with my hey-de-gaies to Ilford, where I againe reſted, and was by the people of the towne and countrey there-about very very wel welcomed, being offred carowſes in the great ſpoon, one whole draught being able at that time to haue drawne my little wit drye; []
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene viii]:
      Had our great Pallace the capacity
      To Campe this hoaſt, we all would ſup together,
      And drinke Carowſes to the next dayes Fate []
    • 1612, John Davies, Discoverie of the True Causes why Ireland was never entirely subdued
      [] he hadde ſo many eyes watching ouer him, as he coulde not drinke a full Carouſe of Sacke, but the State was aduertised thereof, within few houres after.
  2. A drinking match; a carousal.
    • 1725, Homer; [William Broome], transl., “Book II”, in The Odyssey of Homer. [], volume I, London: [] Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646:
      The early feast and late carouse.
    • 1835, Richard Gooch, Oxford and Cambridge Nuts to Crack (page 25)
      PORSON [] would not only frequently “steal a few hours from the night,” but see out both lights and liquids, and seem none the worse for the carouse.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “carouse”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.