brou·​ha·​ha | \ ˈbrü-ˌhä-ˌhä How to pronounce brouhaha (audio) , ˌbrü-ˌhä-ˈhä, brü-ˈhä-ˌhä \

Definition of brouhaha

: hubbub, uproar A brouhaha erupted over her statements.

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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 Twins reliever Sergio Romo was suspended for one game by MLB for his part in inciting an eighth-inning brouhaha Friday night with Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, who was fined an undisclosed amount. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Sergio Romo gets one-game suspension before Twins face Cleveland in national TV game," 12 Sep. 2020 The chirping began in the second game of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers, creating a mini-brouhaha on the field and leading MLB to direct the Cubs to turn up the fake noise at Wrigley Field to drown out the back-and-forth. Paul Sullivan,, "Column: Chirping from the dugout is fun, but it doesn’t help the Cubs if they can’t score runs," 10 Sep. 2020 Salon-gate is a classic campaign brouhaha, apparently confirming an existing negative stereotype about the politician caught in the trap. Stephen Collinson, With Shelby Rose, CNN, "Nancy Pelosi will never live Salon-gate down," 3 Sep. 2020 On top of the brouhaha that came of it, Fernando Tatis Jr.'s decision to swing 3-0 with the bases loaded Monday night catalyzed history. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Padres become first National League team since 1895 Cleveland Spiders to hit grand slams in three straight games," 20 Aug. 2020 The visit caused a mild brouhaha on local social media with claims the delegation was allowed to shortcut a required 14-day quarantine for foreign visitors. Washington Post, "US Army chief welcomed to Thailand with coronavirus test," 10 July 2020 One business owner saw opportunity in the brouhaha, with Seattle restaurant owner and chef Eric Rivera seizing the chance to pitch his own line of seasoning. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Goya Foods CEO "not apologizing" for praising President Trump," 10 July 2020 But the brouhaha caused Reebok to end its partnership with the brand. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "CrossFit founder Greg Glassman to sell company after backlash over "divisive statements"," 24 June 2020 The Bernal Heights boulder brouhaha took a surprising turn Tuesday morning when the fifth iteration of artists’ Black Lives Matter messages on the famed rock was painted over yet again — this time by the city itself. Heather Knight,, "Bernal Heights’ boulder battle escalates after SF department paints over ‘Black Lives Matter’ message," 9 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of brouhaha

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brouhaha


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Time Traveler for brouhaha

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The first known use of brouhaha was in 1890

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brouhaha.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for brouhaha


How to pronounce brouhaha (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brouhaha

informal + usually disapproving : great excitement or concern about something

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