aroused; arousing

transitive verb

: to awaken from sleep
was aroused from a deep sleep by a loud noise
: to stimulate to action or to bodily readiness for activity : excite
a book that has aroused debate
: 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
aroused adjective

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The Six-Day War was such a miracle, and aroused very deep feelings toward the birthplace of our nation—Hebron, Shiloh, Jericho, Nablus. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 11 Nov. 2023 There are different kinds as well, like someone who was aroused by water spurting out of a faucet, another aroused by wet clothes. Gavin J Blair, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Oct. 2023 But, at the end of the day, look, weakness arouses evil. Nbc Universal, NBC News, 22 Oct. 2023 The video featured Wilson and Pickens Jr. making speeches in front of a SAG/AFTRA tent to the other actors on the picket line, arousing applause from the crowd. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 7 Oct. 2023 Perhaps Semilla’s biggest asset going into the first round was that its success seemed so unlikely that the Party never aroused the suspicions of the Public Ministry. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 19 Aug. 2023 In a brilliant twist that’s both a matter of dramatic import and of symbolic power, Jake soon discovers that his appearance arouses suspicion. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 8 Sep. 2023 But for critics of the event, the background of the group that organized it, Rosh Yehudi, aroused suspicion. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2023 Her anger was easily aroused by disobedience and contradiction. Rachel Cusk, Harper's Magazine, 10 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arouse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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).

First Known Use

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of arouse was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near arouse

Cite this Entry

“Arouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


aroused; arousing
: to awaken from sleep
: to rouse to action : excite

Medical Definition


transitive verb
aroused; arousing
: to awake from sleep
: to rouse or stimulate to action
: to excite (someone) sexually : to cause sexual arousal in (someone)
: to give rise to
a response aroused by a stimulus
arousable adjective
arousability noun
plural arousabilities

More from Merriam-Webster on arouse

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