ca·​rouse | \ kə-ˈrau̇z How to pronounce carouse (audio) \

Definition of carouse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : a large draft of liquor : toast
2 : a drunken revel


caroused; carousing

Definition of carouse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to drink liquor freely or excessively
2 : to take part in a carouse : engage in dissolute behavior

transitive verb

obsolete : to drink up : quaff

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Other Words from carouse


carouser noun

Synonyms for carouse

Synonyms: Noun

bender, binge, bust, carousal, drunk, jamboree, spree, toot, wassail

Synonyms: Verb

binge, birl [chiefly Scottish], revel, roister, wassail

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Sixteenth-century English revelers toasting each other's health sometimes drank a brimming mug of spirits straight to the bottom-drinking "all-out," they called it. German tipplers did the same and used the German expression for "all out"-gar aus. The French adopted the German term as carous, using the adverb in their expression boire carous ("to drink all out"), and that phrase, with its idiomatic sense of "to empty the cup," led to carrousse, a French noun meaning "a large draft of liquor." And that's where English speakers picked up carouse in the mid-1500s, first as a noun (which later took on the sense of a general "drinking bout"), and then as a verb meaning "to drink freely."

Examples of carouse in a Sentence


the Old West custom of heading to the saloon at night for an all-out carouse and some poker playing


My brother and his friends went out carousing last night. spent all of shore leave carousing with his mates
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And for the adventure plot, there’s Luci, an equally diminutive demon, who encourages Bean to drink, carouse, and get into trouble. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Disenchantment suggests the messy future of princess stories," 22 Aug. 2018 Similarly, Freedom Day inspires the hands on Mies Julie's isolated Karoo farm to carouse late into the night, but in a manner that seems singularly ominous. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Mies Julie depicts a postapartheid South Africa still mired in its legacy of colonialism and racism," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The document, which includes details from interviews with six women, offers a picture of Hill carousing during a party at a bar in the early morning hours of March 15, shortly after this year's legislative session came to a close. Bryan Slodysko,, "Multiple women, including lawmaker, come forward with groping allegations against Indiana AG," 6 July 2018 Khan may have spent his earlier years carousing with supermodels under the paparazzi glare of London’s nightclubs, but the debonair playboy has had to grow up. Time, "Cricket Hero Imran Khan Led Pakistan's Team to Victory. As a Politician, He's Riding a Populist Wave," 28 June 2018 The video, flagged by CNN’s Hunter Schwarz on Twitter, features Emin carousing with impersonators of Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Hillary Clinton, and even Stormy Daniels. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Russian pop star who arranged Trump Tower meeting makes music video about colluding with Trump," 26 June 2018 Over the years they have been pictured carousing together in party spots in London and around the world. Max Foster, CNN, "Who's on the guest list for Harry and Meghan's wedding?," 21 Apr. 2018 The effect is rather like stumbling across the Serpent Column late at night after carousing in Istanbul’s 21st-century nightclubs: a melancholic sense of historical vertigo. Lawrence Osborne, New York Times, "A City Where East Meets West and the Past Is Always Present," 4 Jan. 2018 Kicking back here usually means a full night of Korean BBQ and bar-hopping before carousing at an all-night karaoke joint. Vogue, "Where Athletes, Reporters, and Sports Fans are Flocking During the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang," 15 Feb. 2018 For a hamlet named after the eternal banquet hall where the slain warriors of Norse mythology caroused, Valhalla is low on drama. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Valhalla, N.Y.: A Picturesque Hamlet with a Short Commute," 13 Dec. 2017 Another man, Bill Holmes, says his group was carousing in Fairbanks the night of Hartman's death and was responsible. Lisa Demer, Anchorage Daily News, "Suit says Fairbanks Four man was wrongly convicted and jailed for 18 years," 9 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carouse.' 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 carouse


1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1566, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for carouse


Middle French carrousse, from carous, adverb, all out (in boire carous to empty the cup), from German gar aus

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The first known use of carouse was in 1559

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English Language Learners Definition of carouse

: to drink alcohol, make noise, and have fun with other people

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More from Merriam-Webster on carouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carouse

Spanish Central: Translation of carouse

Nglish: Translation of carouse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of carouse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on carouse

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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