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 Likewise, her rep handled the announcements about the Bidens' rambunctious rescue dog, Major, who's been involved in several nipping incidents and has to undergo off-site behavior training. USA Today, "First lady Jill Biden’s first 100 days: How ‘Dr. B’ is transforming antiquated FLOTUS role," 27 Apr. 2021 For a series that would go on to use much more rambunctious motifs, The Nanny’s pilot can basically be summed up by the theme song itself, with a bit of introductory Yiddish thrown in to fill things out. Rebecca Caplan, Vulture, "15 Essential Episodes of The Nanny," 23 Apr. 2021 The Captain and the Kids finds the Captain faking illness and rambunctious children Hans and Fritz pretending to be doctors. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Gandhi’; ‘Forrest Gump’ and more," 26 Feb. 2021 The Wings don’t have anyone else with the same rambunctious style, the same knack for scoring while in front of the net. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Bad news on Detroit Red Wings' Tyler Bertuzzi: 7 weeks later, he's not close to returning," 18 Mar. 2021 Sitting on the floor in a child care center full of rambunctious 4- and 5-year-olds who peppered her with questions, Harris stayed on message. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Kamala Harris grows into role as salesperson for Biden, at home and abroad," 28 Mar. 2021 During the sessions in Evanston, Illinois, Albini functioned almost like a fifth member, encouraging the band’s most rambunctious tendencies. Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone, "Slint Look Back on 'Spiderland' at 30," 25 Mar. 2021 Decoded: There were very rambunctious and active squirrels in/on the roof that woke us up at seven each morning. Ariella Elovic, The New Yorker, "Airbnb Reviews Decoded," 21 Feb. 2021 Is the rambunctious person trying to make conversation? Washington Post, "Miss Manners: How inclusive should I be in my obit?," 12 Mar. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rambunctious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rambunctious. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for rambunctious



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on rambunctious

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Nglish: Translation of rambunctious for Spanish Speakers

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