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 But unlike the Intelligence Committee, which is typically stacked with pretty serious members of both parties, their kind of intellectual heavyweights, the Judiciary Committee has long had a history of being a much more rambunctious group. NBC News, "Transcript: Impeachment 101," 5 Dec. 2019 For all that the film’s rambunctious energy relies on the wattage of marquee actors, the central performance belongs to de Armas (whose upcoming role in 2020's new Bond film may cement her own top-billing status). Estelle Tang, Vogue, "On the Perfect Casting of Knives Out," 4 Dec. 2019 Burroughs, 53, lives in Woodbury with his husband, Christopher, and their three rambunctious dogs. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "There’s no denying memoirist Augusten Burroughs is a witch, and he wants you to know what that means," 7 Oct. 2019 Eggnog caused a military riot One of the most rambunctious chapters in eggnog's history comes in 1826 when drunken revelry fueled by eggnog sparked a riot at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Eggnog once sparked a military riot: Here's the story and 3 other facts about the holiday drink," 5 Dec. 2019 Evans managed both to placate the money men at Gulf & Western, who wanted to sell Paramount because of its wan revenue, and become a peer of Hollywood's rambunctious talent. cleveland, "Robert Evans, Hollywood mogul of legendary bravado, dies at 89," 28 Oct. 2019 The Bears of the 1980s had personalities of every kind, including some of the most rambunctious players in franchise history. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 21, Jimbo Covert," 15 Aug. 2019 Elderly dogs and cats may be too frail to interact safely with a rambunctious puppy or kitten despite the belief some people have that a younger animal may spark some life into the oldster. Iris Katz, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Pet Wise: Many factors to consider when thinking about adding a new pet," 16 Nov. 2019 The arena crowd was nowhere near as rambunctious as the festival crowd. Kyle Slagle, The Courier-Journal, "Slayer dominates while bringing blistering riffs, nihilistic worldview to Louisville," 12 Nov. 2019

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

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rambunctious.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rambunctious. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on rambunctious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rambunctious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rambunctious

Spanish Central: Translation of rambunctious

Nglish: Translation of rambunctious for Spanish Speakers

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