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 The brouhaha ended with a woman cyclist knocked unconscious, another cyclist injured and Hot Bikini Brew proprietors Jon Elston and Amanda Ingles in handcuffs. oregonlive, "Meth, bar beefs, bikini coffee beatdowns: 12 weird and wild Oregon crime stories in 2019," 26 Dec. 2019 After the brouhaha in the throne room, Kylo, in a bid to get Rey to rule alongside him, forces her to admit that her parents were nobodies, just a pair of filthy drunk traders who sold her out for drinking money. Lauren Morgan,, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 21 Dec. 2019 The brouhaha may have cost Jimmy Carter re-election to the White House. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "They don’t make central bankers like Paul Volcker anymore," 9 Dec. 2019 The brouhaha began after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that taxpayers could be forced to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Fox News, "California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions," 17 Sep. 2019 The brouhaha began with a New York Times story in which a reporter wrote about his experiences as a deliveryman for services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates. Rex Crum, The Mercury News, "DoorDash to revamp tipping policy after report it shafted delivery staff," 24 July 2019 That’s why Taylor Swift has elevated a behind-the-scenes financial dispute into a brouhaha that’s collected the power of her fans, other pop stars, and even politicians such as Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Taylor Swift Is Waging Reputational Warfare," 18 Nov. 2019 This week, China unexpectedly put the kibosh on Juul sales (readers know all about the brouhaha over e-cigs and the vaping industry in the U.S.). Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Experts Warn We Aren’t Prepared for a Global Health Crisis: Brainstorm Health," 18 Sep. 2019 Germany beats Nigeria to reach quarterfinals READ: Australia knocked out on penalties in thriller Why was there such a brouhaha about Huth positioning herself a few yards from Nigeria's goalkeeper? Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Women's World Cup: Referees and VAR under the microscope after dramatic weekend in France," 23 June 2019

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

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brouhaha.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 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

More from Merriam-Webster on brouhaha

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brouhaha

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to assert without proof or before proving

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