rau·​cous ˈrȯ-kəs How to pronounce raucous (audio)
: disagreeably harsh or strident : hoarse
raucous voices
: boisterously disorderly
a … raucous frontier townTruman Capote
raucously adverb
raucousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for raucous

loud, stentorian, earsplitting, raucous, strident mean marked by intensity or volume of sound.

loud applies to any volume above normal and may suggest undue vehemence or obtrusiveness.

loud shouts of protest

stentorian implies great power and range.

an actor with a stentorian voice

earsplitting implies loudness that is physically discomforting.

the earsplitting sound of a siren

raucous implies a loud harsh grating tone, especially of voice, and may suggest rowdiness.

the raucous shouts of drunken revelers

strident implies a rasping discordant but insistent quality, especially of voice.

the strident voices of hecklers

Examples of raucous in a Sentence

He stepped over one man, avoided a raucous group of inebriated merchant seamen staggering for their boats, ran up his steps into the large foyer … James Clavell, Gai-Jin, 1994
The scene was reminiscent of a college fraternity reunion, with plenty of backslapping, joking, hugging and raucous laughter. Lewis Beale, Chicago Tribune, 15 Feb. 1987
On the ledge of rock above this strange couple there stood three solemn buzzards, who, at the sight of the new comers uttered raucous screams of disappointment and flapped sullenly away. Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, 1887
the partying neighbors kept up their raucous laughter half the night
Recent Examples on the Web The project premiered in 2022 as a TIFF Midnight Madness selection, where it was embraced by a raucous audience and landed a rich distribution deal from Lionsgate. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 20 Nov. 2023 At one point, the oboist is asked to put a second reed in his mouth and play a raucous self-duet. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 The debate between two millennial New Yorkers has fueled conflicts playing out in social media feeds and raucous street protests. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2023 Advertisement The Cougars won this one, 74-65 before a big crowd at the raucous Marriott Center on Friday night to hand the No. 17 Aztecs only their second loss against a team not named Connecticut in their last 18 games – but their 31st loss in 35 all-time visits to Provo. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2023 In front of a raucous crowd inside USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion, Cathedral rallied to knock off arch-rival Torrey Pines 25-17, 25-20, 21-25, 23-25, 15-4 Friday night to win the Open Division title. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Nov. 2023 In July, the Chino Valley Unified meeting where the school board approved the parental notification policy was a raucous event; each side had hundreds of people. Jill Cowan, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2023 The cabin experience is slightly less raucous than the 911 R, but more raw than the wingless 911 GT3 Touring, with an intrusive clatter at idle due to the single-mass flywheel and featherlight clutch. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 21 Oct. 2023 During the raucous celebration, amid the blaring music, dancing and champagne spraying, Kjerstad just remembers being put into a laundry bin and the rest was a blur. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'raucous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin raucus hoarse; akin to Latin ravis hoarseness

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of raucous was in 1769

Dictionary Entries Near raucous

Cite this Entry

“Raucous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raucous. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


rau·​cous ˈrȯ-kəs How to pronounce raucous (audio)
: being harsh and unpleasant
a raucous voice
: behaving in a rough and noisy way
a raucous crowd
raucously adverb
raucousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on raucous

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