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1650s, variant of rouse,[1] possibly influenced by rout.


  • (file)


roust (third-person singular simple present rousts, present participle rousting, simple past and past participle rousted)

  1. (transitive) to rout out of bed; to rouse
    • 1884, Twain, Mark, chapter VII, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
      "Why didn't you roust me out?" / "Well, I tried to, but I couldn't; I couldn't budge you." / "Well, all right. Don't stand there palavering all day, but out with you and see if there's a fish on the lines for breakfast. I'll be along in a minute."
  2. To harass, to treat in a rough way.
    • 1962, Cape Fear, 00:28:45 from the start:
      My client is an ex-convict. He's been constantly harassed by the police... subjected to extreme mental cruelty and public degradation. He's even been denied an adequate place to live! To be very blunt, gentlemen, my client has been thoroughly rousted.
  3. (transitive, slang) to arrest
  4. (transitive) to drive strongly



roust (plural rousts)

  1. A strong tide or current, especially in a narrow channel.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jamieson to this entry?)



  1. ^ roust” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.