\ə-ˈrau̇z \
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

arousal \ə-​ˈrau̇-​zəl \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for arouse


awake, awaken, knock up [British], rouse, wake, waken



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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

And Mitchell herself avoided using the kind of disrespectful language that aroused outrage among many women watching the Hill hearings. Anna North, Vox, "The Republicans on the committee attempted to change the optics for this hearing, but don’t be fooled.," 27 Sep. 2018 Danske is perhaps the most surprising case yet: Huge flows passing through a tiny foreign branch, where many of the clients were not even residents, failed to arouse suspicions higher up. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Banks Are Getting Squeezed by the Fight Against Dirty Money," 5 Oct. 2018 Intel’s manufacturing monotony is starting to arouse attention on Wall Street. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel's Whiskey Lake notebook chip launches, emphasizing connectivity this time around," 28 Aug. 2018 Wooing, connecting, arousing and even cuckoldry is virtual. Laren Stover, New York Times, "The Selfie That Dares to Go There," 7 July 2018 Legislators could satisfy unions by promising benefits sometime in the future, long after the next election cycle — without arousing any opposition. Daniel Disalvo, Washington Post, "How today’s big Supreme Court case on public-sector unions could lead to a fiscal crisis," 26 Feb. 2018 Bottlenecks at Tesla's battery factory and assembly plant have undermined that effort, limiting the return on that investment and arousing concern that the company may need to raise more cash. Bloomberg,, "Tesla recalls early Model S cars to retrofit power-steering part," 29 Mar. 2018 The final result was a textured pixie that got gradually shorter in the public eye, without arousing suspicion. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Princess Diana Only Cut Her Hair 1/4 Inch at a Time so Fans Wouldn’t Notice," 15 June 2018 It has been found, for instance, that blue-green-yellow type colors tend to be particularly arousing. Joe Peterburger, National Geographic, "Why the Brain-Body Connection Is More Important Than We Think," 17 Mar. 2018

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) + rouse

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Statistics for arouse

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arouse

The first known use of arouse was circa 1616

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English Language Learners Definition of arouse

: to cause (an emotional or mental state)

: to excite (someone) sexually

: to wake (someone) from sleep


\ə-ˈrau̇z \
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 \
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 \ adjective
arousability \ə-​ˌrau̇-​zə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun, plural -ties

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More from Merriam-Webster on arouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arouse

Spanish Central: Translation of arouse

Nglish: Translation of arouse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arouse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on arouse

What made you want to look up arouse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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