\ 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 aroused (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 Iranian involvement will further arouse Arab states’ disquiet; ISIS might reconstitute itself again, as Sunni Muslims in the region search desperately for some kind of security. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "America Is Screwing the Kurds Yet Again," 7 Oct. 2019 Perhaps, Holland thought, Little saw a distinction between rape and becoming aroused during a strangling. Los Angeles Times, "A Texas Ranger got a prolific serial killer to talk. This is how," 26 Sep. 2019 The bubbles in the lake came up my thighs, arousing me. Devorah Heitner, Longreads, "What’s Happening to My Body?," 13 Sep. 2019 There’s no sense of dialogue between them and Nelson, no sense of a question posed or another aroused, no sense of continuity of ideas, of curiosity, of the free play of memory, of anything resembling a conversation, let alone a relationship. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Review: “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” and the Problem of the Archive," 29 Aug. 2019 Donald Trump’s presidency has aroused strong and often angry passions among both opponents and supporters, but the problem runs much deeper than that. Michael R. Bloomberg, Twin Cities, "Michael Bloomberg: Enough with ‘speech is violence.’ Democracy requires discomfort.," 22 Sep. 2019 The ambitions that arouse your interest now can be realized in September when your reputation gets an upgrade and people look at you with trusting and smiling eyes. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for July 27, 2019: Cancer, clear up misunderstandings today; Libra return a kindness when needed," 27 July 2019 But there is one notable image that arouses humor and uneasiness with a punch that still stuns. Arthur Lubow, New York Times, "Has Robert Mapplethorpe’s Moment Passed?," 25 July 2019 Gerry Vogel, assistant director at the Avon Lake Public Library, recently conducted a tour that would arouse any child’s interest in space. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Avon Lake Public Library’s extensive space displays, reading material reflect Apollo 11 excitement," 22 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for arouse

Time Traveler

The first known use of arouse was circa 1616

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Statistics for arouse

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Arouse.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More Definitions for arouse


How to pronounce arouse (audio)

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

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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 constrict the range or activity of

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