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 Mets-Yankees brouhaha seems to be more over the issue of picking up on pitchers tipping pitches than outright stealing signs, but the whistling argument is consistent. Matt Young, Chron, 13 Sep. 2021 The booster brouhaha, however, has reignited several dormant debates about the White House’s policy process. Lev Facher, STAT, 5 Sep. 2021 The niceness was mostly eliminated after their second bout, which included an extended brouhaha over a charity donation promised by McGregor to Poirier., 9 July 2021 As if the brewing infrastructure brouhaha was not enough, Congress must also vote to raise the debt ceiling, which was suspended in 2019 and reinstated in August at around $28.5 trillion. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 24 Aug. 2021 Call it the bikini-bottom brouhaha, but don't take it lightly. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 30 July 2021 Almost all lockdown restrictions are set to end in England on Monday, amid a rise in Covid-19 cases and a political brouhaha over whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson should isolate. NBC News, 18 July 2021 The brief brouhaha started when White Sox manager Tony La Russa rushed out of the dugout and toward Indians catcher Roberto Perez after Abreu was struck for the second time in the game. Matt Carlson, Star Tribune, 31 July 2021 The brouhaha began when newspaper photos from 1999 emerged of Kemper being named Queen of Love and Beauty at the former Veiled Prophet Ball in her native St. Louis (the entire celebration was renamed Fair Saint Louis in 1992). Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021

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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The first known use of brouhaha was in 1890

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brouhaha.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of brouhaha

: great excitement or concern about something

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