\ ə-ˈrau̇z How to pronounce arouse (audio) \
aroused; arousing

Definition of arouse

transitive verb

1 : to awaken from sleep was aroused from a deep sleep by a loud noise
2 : to stimulate to action or to bodily readiness for activity : excite a book that has aroused debate
3 : to excite (someone) sexually : to cause sexual arousal in (someone) … girls whose perfume scent frightened him and aroused him.— Elizabeth Berg

intransitive verb

: to awake from sleep : stir

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Other Words from arouse

aroused \ ə-​ˈrau̇zd How to pronounce arouse (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for arouse



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Examples of arouse in a Sentence

The report aroused a great deal of public interest. The husky sound of her voice could always arouse him. Their proposal is certain to arouse the opposition.
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Recent Examples on the Web Even one of Biden’s potentially bipartisan initiatives could arouse conservative opposition. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "As liberal policies mount, GOP attack lines against Biden come into view," 22 Mar. 2021 The combination of a third-party example with a question to arouse curiosity can be effective. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "13 Strategies For Making A Truly Effective Cold Pitch," 25 Feb. 2021 An older man, his handlers believed, was less likely to arouse suspicion. Ronen Bergman, New York Times, "Isaac Shoshan, Israeli Spy Who Posed as an Arab, Is Dead at 96," 5 Jan. 2021 All of these surveys are self-assessments, which might arouse your skepticism. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "How (And Why) to Measure Your Own Happiness," 3 Dec. 2020 The watch delivers vibrations in cycles of 10 seconds, increasing in intensity to arouse but not awaken the wearer, until the metrics ease back to normal levels. Michele Cohen Marill, Wired, "How a Vibrating Smartwatch Could Be Used to Stop Nightmares," 1 Dec. 2020 Potholes arouse passions in Britain—not surprisingly, since the country’s road quality ranks 37th in the world, between Slovenia and Lithuania. The Economist, "Potholes Britain’s big pothole problem," 28 Nov. 2020 Brandeis did arouse objections based on his religion and legal historians have long detected a strong whiff of anti-Semitism in the criticisms leveled against Brandeis. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Religious identity and Supreme Court justices — a brief history," 20 Oct. 2020 The examination of fees apparently paid to his older daughter is likely to arouse even more vitriol from the outgoing president. New York Times, "Trump Tax Write-Offs Are Ensnared in 2 New York Fraud Investigations," 19 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arouse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arouse

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for arouse

a- (as in arise, awake entry 1) + rouse entry 1

Note: The verb arouse is formed by analogy with rise : arise, wake : awake; in these pairs a- goes back to Old English, as either the perfective prefix a- (see abide) or a reduced form of on- (see a- entry 1).

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Time Traveler for arouse

Time Traveler

The first known use of arouse was circa 1616

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Statistics for arouse

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for arouse



English Language Learners Definition of arouse

: to cause (an emotional or mental state)
: to excite (someone) sexually
: to wake (someone) from sleep


\ ə-ˈrau̇z How to pronounce arouse (audio) \
aroused; arousing

Kids Definition of arouse

1 : to awaken from sleep
2 : to cause to feel arouse anger
3 : to cause to become active or upset arouse the opposition
\ ə-ˈrau̇z How to pronounce arouse (audio) \
aroused; arousing

Medical Definition of arouse

1a : to awake from sleep
b : to rouse or stimulate to action
c : to excite (someone) sexually : to cause sexual arousal in (someone)
2 : to give rise to a response aroused by a stimulus

Other Words from arouse

arousable \ ə-​ˈrau̇-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce arouse (audio) \ adjective
arousability \ ə-​ˌrau̇-​zə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce arouse (audio) \ noun, plural arousabilities

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