ram·​bunc·​tious | \ ram-ˈbəŋk-shəs How to pronounce rambunctious (audio) \

Definition of rambunctious

: marked by uncontrollable exuberance : unruly

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Other Words from rambunctious

rambunctiously adverb
rambunctiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rambunctious



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Rambunctious Has (Possible) British Origins

Rambunctious first appeared in print in 1830, at a time when the fast-growing United States was forging its identity and indulging in a fashion for colorful new coinages suggestive of the young nation's optimism and exuberance. "Rip-roaring," "scalawag," "hornswoggle," and "skedaddle" are other examples of the lively language of that era. Did Americans alter the largely British "rumbustious" because it sounded, well, British? That could be. "Rumbustious," which first appeared in Britain in the late 1700s, was probably based on "robustious," a much older adjective that meant both "robust" and "boisterous."

Examples of rambunctious in a Sentence

that beach is often taken over by packs of rambunctious young people, so don't go there expecting peace and quiet
Recent Examples on the Web Stewart is the author of the Kopp Sisters novels, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Author Amy Stewart plans virtual visit: Medina County District Library roundup," 5 Jan. 2021 The new technology, which can also track moving voices, might even make your Zoom calls easier, by separating out and silencing background noise, from vacuum cleaners to rambunctious children. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "Trouble hearing in a crowded room? New ‘cone of silence’ could help," 18 Dec. 2020 Those same letters are what helped give him the energy in a rambunctious arena to win Shallowater’s second girls’ basketball title on March 7. Alexis Cubit, USA TODAY, "A winning legacy: Shallowater’s Chuck Darden shares love of coaching with sons," 31 Dec. 2020 Koda is a gentle girl who wants to be able to do her own thing and go at her own pace and would do best in a home with no cats and no younger or rambunctious pups who get in her space. The Arizona Republic, "Koda and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 21 Nov. 2020 The teachers were going to teach a group of rambunctious and easily bored fourth-graders online while simultaneously teaching the same in the classroom. Washington Post, "Distance learning was a disaster. So I decided to teach my daughter myself.," 19 Nov. 2020 With the pandemic once again threatening to overwhelm medical systems, the large and rambunctious celebrations that usually mark Diwali are largely gone. Los Angeles Times, "Celebrating Diwali, some see Kamala Harris’ rise reflected in stories of good over evil," 14 Nov. 2020 Christian Cousins, Miko Hughes, Brian Wagner, Adam Wylie and twins Krystle and Tiffany Mataras, who all played rambunctious kids in Kimble's class, took part in the Zoom reunion event with Yahoo Entertainment. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Arnold Schwarzenegger reunites with 'Kindergarten Cop' kids 30 years later: 'It's wild'," 23 Dec. 2020 But the disruption in routines, and extra sugar, mean days of crazy, rambunctious, cranky kids after the big day is over. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: When happy holidays turn harried," 21 Dec. 2020

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

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rambunctious

probably alteration of rumbustious

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The first known use of rambunctious was in 1830

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rambunctious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rambunctious. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for rambunctious


How to pronounce rambunctious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rambunctious

US : uncontrolled in a way that is playful or full of energy


ram·​bunc·​tious | \ ram-ˈbəŋk-shəs How to pronounce rambunctious (audio) \

Kids Definition of rambunctious

: not under control in a way that is playful or full of energy The schoolyard was filled with rambunctious kids.

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