\ 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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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

A few minutes earlier the group — tan robes, burgundy hoods, shirts with meandering yellow streaks — had done a hooting lap around the Grand Central concourse, arousing cell-phone cameras, and appetites. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, "This year, Joey Chestnut marched on New York with a hot dog entourage," 4 July 2019 Markel said much of what's happening now is reminiscent of the 19th Century, when a swelling number of immigrants aroused concerns about the potential spread of infectious diseases. Susan Scutti, CNN, "'Crowding diseases' threaten migrant children held in US border protection facilities, expert says," 24 June 2019 As with the process of scientific discovery, Bongard problems initially arouse puzzlement and even frustration as your mind struggles to find the key features behind a working rule and to ignore distracting features of no importance. Quanta Magazine, "Bongard Problems and Scientific Discovery," 8 June 2017 The decision aroused concerns of a possibly deliberate undermining of democracy in Turkey, where Erdogan is accused of increasing authoritarianism. Washington Post, "Istanbul mayor hails victory as step to repair democracy," 28 June 2019 With more than 20 announced candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, the question of how the debates would work has aroused plenty of curiosity., "When are the Democratic presidential candidate debates on TV? Will you watch?," 20 June 2019 But the plan aroused rancorous neighborhood opposition. Joseph P. Fried, New York Times, "Ellen Bree Burns, Barrier-Breaking Connecticut Judge, Dies at 95," 4 June 2019 That aroused a reaction from state Sen. Damon Thayer, of Georgetown, who crafted the new law. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Thayer to Grimes over primary election certification: 'Quit playing political games'," 4 June 2019 In a similar train of thought, climacophiliacs are aroused by falling down stairs. Kenny Thapoung, Marie Claire, "9 Fascinating Sex Fetishes Every Woman Should Be Aware Of," 6 Oct. 2015

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

19 Jul 2019

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

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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).


to complain fretfully

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