brou·​ha·​ha | \ ˈbrü-ˌhä-ˌhä, ˌbrü-ˌhä-ˈhä, brü-ˈhä-ˌhä\

Definition of brouhaha

: hubbub, uproar A brouhaha erupted over her statements.

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

There is a bit of a brouhaha over the etymology of brouhaha. Some etymologists think the word is onomatopoeic in origin, but others believe it comes from the Hebrew phrase bārŪkh habbā’, meaning "blessed be he who enters" (Psalms 118:26). Although we borrowed our spelling and meaning of brouhaha directly from French in the late 19th century, etymologists have connected the French derivation to that frequently recited Hebrew phrase, distorted to something like brouhaha by worshippers whose knowledge of Hebrew was limited. Thus, once out of the synagogue, the word first meant "a noisy confusion of sound" - a sense that was later extended to refer to any tumultuous and confused situation.

Examples of brouhaha in a Sentence

A brouhaha erupted over her statements about the president. There's been a lot of brouhaha about her statements.

Recent Examples on the Web

But the overall emphasis is this, that Rosenstein, Mueller, the Brett Kavanaugh brouhaha, that this is all bad for the Republicans. Fox News, "Daines slams Dems' 'desperation tactics' against Kavanaugh," 24 Sep. 2018 The average person doesn't care about the privacy brouhaha and despite high profile celebrities like Cher and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak calling to delete Facebook, most won't. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Facebook's Zuckerberg got grilled, but nothing's really changed," 14 Apr. 2018 But flexibility rarely comes up, as Brand points out in his book, in the fevered brouhaha of building and architectural consumption. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "Building houses that grow with us," 14 Nov. 2018 The ensuing brouhaha caused Sichel and Schwarzman to abandon the school renaming and led the superintendent to write a letter of apology over how the matter was handled. Kathy Boccella,, "Abington superintendent to retire after Stephen Schwarzman donation debacle," 9 July 2018 There is a lot of brouhaha that comes with living one’s private life publicly. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Let's pray that Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner don't make it through the summer | Elizabeth Wellington," 1 June 2018 The whole brouhaha apparently hasn't disheartened him. Doug Criss, CNN, "Jesse Duplantis says he's not asking followers to buy him a private jet. He just wants them to 'believe'," 4 June 2018 Cousins and Durant memorably got into a hallway brouhaha last December. Ben Golliver,, "The DeMarcus Cousins Experience Isn’t for Everyone, but Warriors Are More Than Ready," 2 July 2018 Another Beltway brouhaha erupted this weekend when the owner of tiny farm-to-table restaurant Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, asked a diner, Sarah Sanders, to leave. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Sarah Sanders Red Hen, Saudi Women to Drive, U.S. Open Pregnancy: Broadsheet June 25," 25 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of brouhaha

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brouhaha


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brouhaha

Listen to Our Podcast about brouhaha

Statistics for brouhaha

Last Updated

25 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brouhaha

The first known use of brouhaha was in 1890

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brouhaha



English Language Learners Definition of brouhaha

: great excitement or concern about something

More from Merriam-Webster on brouhaha

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brouhaha

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brouhaha

Comments on brouhaha

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!