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

Definition of rambunctious

: marked by uncontrollable exuberance : unruly

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rambunctious

rambunctiously adverb
rambunctiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rambunctious



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 what was rambunctious in Renoir, and gilded with fashionable suavity by La Cava, grows cunning and subterranean for Bong. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Oscars 2020: The Year of Bong Joon-ho (and Cow Insemination)," 10 Feb. 2020 Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford’s kid, then a rambunctious toddler and now a Hollywood Reporter staffer, interviews her father about the making of his chauffeur drama, which triumphed three decades ago at the Oscars. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "When My Dad Won Best Picture: 'Driving Miss Daisy' Director and Daughter Reflect on the (Still Controversial) Movie, 30 Years Later," 4 Feb. 2020 So, while the president will likely set aside his rambunctious, freewheeling campaign style in favor of the restrained delivery of his previous State of the Union appearances, the text will include pointed digs at his opponents. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump to attack 'rising force of socialism' in State of the Union speech," 31 Jan. 2020 The 332-yard hole, which can entice golfers to go for the green off the tee but has plenty of trouble spots lurking, is sandwiched between that rambunctious 16th and golfers' last chance. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Waste Management Phoenix Open offers high rewards on hole 17 who those who survive 16," 28 Jan. 2020 The courthouse space was the vision of Dea Wright, director of Milwaukee's Office of Early Childhood Initiatives, who was inspired after trying to corral a rambunctious 2-year-old while meeting with a family at children's court last year. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In what could be a national model, Milwaukee unveils cozy learning space in children's courthouse," 24 Jan. 2020 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of rambunctious

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rambunctious

probably alteration of rumbustious

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rambunctious

Time Traveler for rambunctious

Time Traveler

The first known use of rambunctious was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about rambunctious

Statistics for rambunctious

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rambunctious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rambunctious?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=rambun01. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on rambunctious

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!