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 Flash forward to the present, with the two as teenagers, just as rambunctious and football-loving and happy in each other’s presence, though Timmy is clearly the more academically motivated. Jocelyn Noveck, Detroit Free Press, "Gang warfare film 'Blue Story' is a grim tale freshly told," 7 May 2020 Members of the weasel family, the peppy quartet is rambunctious, inquisitive and energetic. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "No zoo visitors? No problem. Milwaukee Zoo's four river otters celebrate their birthday on St. Patrick's Day anyway," 18 Mar. 2020 The event, which was played in New York, entertainingly features Jordan and some fellow All-Stars, who are off camera, talking some smack to a young, rambunctious Bryant. Los Angeles Times, "‘The Last Dance’: The 23 most fascinating takeaways from Episodes 5 and 6," 3 May 2020 Living with a rambunctious pack of dogs helps one develop a sense of humor and an ability to appreciate the lighter side of life. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Sit. Stay. Here's why I'm not hiking during coronavirus, even though my dogs love being out," 1 May 2020 Together, the couple raises sis rambunctious children to be Black (and proud) in the Hollywood Hills. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Get Your Exclusive First Look At Netflix’s blackAF," 15 Apr. 2020 Dončić’s teammates couldn’t help but chuckle as the rambunctious little girl named Emily bounced in and out of her seat with excitement. Dallas News, "Dallas Mavericks spread holiday hope to those in need during the season of giving," 24 Dec. 2019 Around them, a dozen or so rambunctious kids played tag or broke open bags of chips. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, "An Imam Leads His Congregation Through the Pandemic," 8 Apr. 2020 One more plus: Unlike in-person school where one rambunctious child can disrupt an entire class, teachers online can mute the unruly child and turn off their camera with one click. Nir Eyal, New York Times, "Home-Schooling Tweens and Teens During Coronavirus Closings," 12 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for rambunctious

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The first known use of rambunctious was in 1830

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Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rambunctious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rambunctious. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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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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